Friday, November 16, 2012

Ghana elections 2012 : EU urges EC to reconsider early voting for Journalists

The European Union (EU) delegation in Ghana has expressed concern over the refusal of the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow the members of the media to participate in the special voting ahead of the December 7 general elections.

The EU wants the EC to reconsider its rules to allow the media and other Ghanaian observer missions like Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) to vote before the December 7 to enable them effectively monitor the elections.

The EU last month announced it will not send down its Observer Mission for the elections due to the existence of proper structures including a credible media.

But following the Electoral Commission's announcement that Journalists will not be allowed to participate in the special voting, the Head of Delegation for the EU, Ambassador Claude Maerten has urged the EC to rectify the situation.

"We regret the situation. It is true that it would have been better to be in a situation where the observers have the right to vote early so that they can do their job. And we regret that it was not in the Constitution Instrument which was passed by the Parliament some weeks ago," he explained.

Ambassador Maerten called for a proposal by the Electoral Commission "so that at least the media can exercise their right to vote and also do their job and inform Ghanaians about the process; it's very important."

According to him, the step if taken will be a positive arrangement for Ghana's democracy.

He also told Citi News his outfit cannot reverse its earlier decision of sending down an Observer Mission because of time constraints.

"No, we will not reconsider our position. To send an electoral mission is something which you have to forecast long in advance. So it's not just two-three weeks before the elections that we can change this decision," he explained.

Ambassador Maerten also noted that the move will have a lot of financial consequences and it will no longer be necessary as there are other international Observer Missions which will monitor the elections.


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