European Union External Action

Chief Observer officially launches European Union Election Observation Mission to Ghana 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

The European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the 7 December 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Ghana. The EU was invited by the Ghanaian authorities, and will assess the conduct of the elections against national law and regional and international standards.

The Election Observation Mission is led by Mr Tamás Meszerics, a Member of the European Parliament from Hungary. He has been in country since Tuesday, meeting the Electoral Commission, political parties, government ministers and other stakeholders.

“The presence of the EU Election Observation Mission demonstrates the European Union’s commitment to the conduct of inclusive, transparent and credible elections in Ghana. We focus our observation not only on the election day, but on the entire electoral process, including the results transmission and the resolution of any election-related disputes after voting has finished,” said Mr Meszerics.

Mr Meszerics also stated: “These elections represent an opportunity for Ghana to build on what it has achieved in past elections. We very much hope for a peaceful election and one which enjoys the confidence of all stakeholders.” A core team arrived in Accra on 26 October. Twenty-four long-term observers arrived shortly after and were deployed to all ten regions of Ghana on 6 November.

Thirty-two short-term observers will reinforce the mission for the election day itself. They will be joined by a team of seven Members of the European Parliament, as well as by representatives of the embassies of the European Union in Ghana, bringing the mission’s strength on and around Election Day to well over 80.

The EU EOM will conduct a comprehensive and impartial analysis of the whole electoral process. This will include assessing the legal framework, the performance of the election administration, voter registration, candidates’ nomination, campaign activities, respect for fundamental freedoms, access to and conduct of the media, voting and the counting and transmission of results, and the period after the polls. If a second round of voting is required, the mission will remain in Ghana for this.

The EU EOM is bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and no interference in the process. The mission undertakes all its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and will cooperate closely also with national and other international observers. The EU EOM will publish its initial findings in a Preliminary Statement, which will be presented in a press conference two days after Election Day, on 9 December.

A final report will be published some two months later. This will include recommendations for improvements for future elections.

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