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22.10.2008 Politics

CHRAJ deploys 400 election observers

By gna

The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has deployed 400 personnel to observe the December general elections to enable it to get first hand information on fairness and also help maintain the credibility of the polls.

Speaking at a two-day training workshop, which began on Wednesday in Accra, to equip the observers on the electoral process, Ms Anna Bossman, Acting Commissioner for CHRAJ, said the Commission had extended its human rights monitoring function for the last quarter of this year to cover the right to vote to ensure that the rights of the electorate were protected.

Ms Bossman said as a national human rights institution, the Commission was concerned about protecting citizens against undue and corrupt influence of politicians to ensure that the elections were free, fair and credible for the country's democracy to flourish.

She noted that even though the Electoral Commission had the potential to organise credible elections, the role of CHRAJ in advancing human rights and consolidating democracy was crucial during the elections to safeguard the integrity of the process.

She said although the country had made solid progress in consolidating democracy and establishing a culture of peace and human rights, it appeared to be at the crossroads as a result of the impending hotly contested general elections.

Ms Bossman said if the minor incidence of irregularities of the previous elections recurred, the integrity of the election could be compromised and may lead to outbreak of violence.

Mr Albert Kofi Arhin, Director of Election at the Electoral Commission, who took the participants through election monitoring and observation called on them to be conversant with the electoral process to ensure that they did not act contrary to their mandate which may lead to confusion.

He commended the initiative by the Chief Justice to set up special courts to handle election-related issues.