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The European Union deployed an Election Follow-up Mission (EFM) to Ghana on 5 September 2019. The Mission is led by Mr. Tamas Meszerics, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana.
The main objectives of the Follow-up Mission are to assess the degree to which the EU EOM recommendations have been implemented, as well as to discuss ways to achieve further progress in this regard. The 2016 recommendations were based on an impartial assessment of all aspects of the electoral process and guided by regional and international standards for elections.
The Mission met with the Ghana Electoral Commission, the leadership of Parliament and political parties, constitutional bodies and government agencies, civil society organisations, media and the international community.
The EFM found that an important recommendation has been addressed with the adoption of the Right to Information Bill. The EFM believes that its effective implementation will help to ensure transparency to key aspects of the electoral process. Even if progress in the implementation of other relevant EU EOM recommendations remains limited, a certain number of legal and administrative reforms are being discussed and should be further considered. These relate to the work of the Electoral Commission, campaign environment and finance, electoral dispute resolution mechanisms and political participation of women.
The EFM also organised a roundtable on 20 September 2019 to share its preliminary findings and facilitate stakeholders' discussion and identification of recommended electoral reforms that could be agreed upon in the lead up to the 2020 elections.
In a press conference held today, Mr Meszerics said: “We are encouraged to see that initiatives have been undertaken to improve future electoral processes. We urge all electoral stakeholders to engage in good faith in extensive consultations in view of achieving the necessary bi-partisan consensus and an environment conducive for a greater level of public confidence in the electoral process.”
A comprehensive final report will be published in the next couple of months and will be used to further the EU’s ongoing engagement to support Ghana’s democratic institutions.