NDI election observer mission arrives in Ghana

downloadThe National Democratic Institute (NDI)  international election observation mission for Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7, has arrived in Ghana.

The delegation includes 30 political and civic leaders, election experts, and regional specialists from 14 countries.

Leadership of the delegation comprises Amb. Johnnie Carson, former assistant secretary for African Affairs, U.S. State Department; Hon. J. Yvonne Mokgoro, former justice, South African Constitutional Court; Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, senior associate and regional director for Africa, NDI; and Mr. Pat Merloe, senior associate and director of elections, NDI.

“The recent peace accord signed by all seven presidential candidates and the country’s consistent record of credible elections demonstrate Ghana’s reputation as one of the more established democracies in West Africa,” said Ambassador Carson

“We expect high interest at the polls on Wednesday and hope that Ghana will continue to lead by example.”

The objectives of the NDI delegation are to provide an accurate and impartial assessment of the administration and character of the election process in Ghana, and to demonstrate the support of the international community to Ghanaian efforts to strengthen democratic processes in their country.

During their stay in Ghana, the observers will participate in briefings on the Ghanaian political and electoral processes from Ghanaian experts, political leaders, election administrators, representatives of civil society, as well as NDI staff.

Delegates will deploy in two-person teams to regional capitals across Ghana to meet with election administrators, parliamentary candidates, domestic observer groups, and political and civic activists in these localities. On election day, observers will visit polling stations in their area of deployment, to watch the voting, tabulation of results, and other aspects of electoral proceedings.

“As the last African country to hold national elections of 2016, all eyes are on Ghana,” said Dr. Fomunyoh.

“We hope that the voices of citizens will be heard, as Ghanaians deserve nothing short of meaningful and peaceful polls.”

The NDI delegation will hold a press conference on Friday, December 9 in Accra. At that time, NDI will issue a report with the delegation’s findings and recommendations on steps that could enhance confidence and participation in the election process.

The mission is supported by a grant from the United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

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