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06.12.2004 General News

CODEO deploys 7,400 observes for Election 2004

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Accra, Dec. 6, GNA - The Coalition of Domestic Observers (CODEO) is deploying 7,400 observers in all 230 constituencies for the Presidential and Parliamentary Polls.

The observers would cover over 30 per cent of the 21,000 polling stations nationwide, and 230 constituency-collating centres. This was announced at a press briefing in Accra on the Coalition's preparation for the elections, addressed by its Co-chairpersons, Mr Justice V.C.R.A.C Crabbe and Professor Miranda Greenstreet.

The observers would wear CODEO 'T' shirts and report to the polling stations by 0630 hours. They would observe the entire process including the counting of the ballots.

CODEO said an information bureau had been set up at the offices of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) to receive and process media enquiries on the election.

The bureau would also receive, analyse and prepare the preliminary report on the polls.

CODEO said a reporting structure had been devised to ensure accuracy and timely delivery of information to its Secretariat in Accra.

On the basis of the report CODEO would issue a statement on its general impressions of the polling around noon as the election progressed and issue a preliminary report within 24 hours after the polls. The final report on the 2004 polls would be issued in January 2005.

Prof. Greenstreet observed that Ghanaians had assiduously worked to consolidate the democracy under the Fourth Republic, saying that Election 2004 brought the nation to the crossroads of its political development.

"It is an important test of Ghana's democratic institutions and their ability to function under different administrations and ruling parties.

"The successful outcome of the 2004 polls will contribute immensely to Ghana's democratic consolidation. It is important that Ghana succeeds. The whole world is watching how, we as a people, conduct ourselves at this critical stage," Prof Greenstreet said.

CODEO applauded improvements in the overall environment for this year's election, and commended organisations including the media, the National Commission on Civic Education, religious bodies, civil society organisations for promoting peaceful elections

It appealed to all candidates, political parties, their leaders and the security agencies and Ghanaians as a whole to help maintain the peace in the country.

It noted that the competition for power usually evoked passions and extreme partisanship, but reminded all candidates, parties that they must not allow such sentiments and actions to create needless chaos in the country.

"We implore the political parties, especially the NPP and the NDC, to urge their supporters to conduct themselves properly on Election Day to forestall any conflict."

Formed in May 2000, CODEO, which comprises 35 civil society, professional, and religious bodies in the country, is under the management of CDD-Ghana. It has the sole purpose of recruiting, training and deploying local observers for presidential and parliamentary elections.

Revived and reconstituted under the auspices of CDD-Ghana this year, CODEO is managed by a nine-member advisory board supported by five-member committees in charge of recruitment, training and deployment; logistics and resource, drafting and reporting.

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