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14.11.2008 Elections

EU observer team in town

By The Statesman

The European Union has set up an Election Observation Mission to Ghana for the 7 December 2008 parliamentary and presidential election

Their main objective is to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the election process, enhance public confidence, strengthen respect for human rights and contribute to conflict resolution.

The chief observer and a member of the European Parliament, Nickolay Mladenov of Bulgaria, said the European Union was invited to Ghana to observe the elections by the electoral commission with its mandate to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process in accordance with international and regional standards for genuine democratic election.

He added that the EU EOM operates independently from the European Commission Delegation and the EU member states.

According to him, the mission core team consists of seven experts who were deployed in Accra on November 1. In addition, twenty-four long-term observers have been deployed in all ten provinces of the country.

The EU EOM uses an established methodology for observing elections and does not interfere in the election process.

Mr. Mladenov said the EU core team will analyze key political, electoral and legal issues and are supported by logistics and security experts.

He stated that more than 70 observers will be present to observe voting and counting on Election Day.

The Press Officer of the EU EOM Ghana, Mathias Eick, said all the EU election observers are bound by a strict code of conduct that guarantees their neutrality and

He further stressed that the EU EOM will collect and verify information concerning the election process which will be used to prepare a preliminary statement of findings and conclusion within 48 hours of election day.

He said the final report containing detailed recommendation for the future is issued around two months after the election process Mr. Eick added that the EU EOM will also observe the entire election process which includes the legal framework and its implementation, the work of the election administration, campaign activities, the conduct of the media, voting, counting and tabulation and the environment in which the election is being conduct.