Friday, November 4, 2016

UN diplomat cautions Ghana not to taint its electoral credibility

A United Nations diplomat, Dr. Ibn Chambas, has asked key stakeholders in Ghana’s electoral system to be careful not to do anything that would compromise the reputation of the December 7 general elections.

He said it is important that Ghana, which has been labeled as a trailblazer in peaceful elections on the African continent, ensures a transparent and credible elections in order to protect its image.

 “We must be mindful of the reputation of being a trailblazer in handling keenly contested elections. We cannot at this point, be taking a step back when many of our neighbours are now delivering credible elections,” he said on 3FM’s morning show, Sunrise on Thursday.

The former Ghanaian parliamentary who is currently the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Office of West Africa (UNOWA), said he expects nothing but “transparent, credible elections” on December 7.

He observed the processes so far have not been rosy, the processes are still on course, saying “there have been skirmishes here and there but nothing violent has disrupted the process”. 

He added: “I expect the post-election period will be peaceful so we can re-focus on the urgent issues of development and growing the economy for the good people of this beautiful country”. 

Judiciary must be up to the task
Mr Chambas said a joint AU and UN delegation had interaction with the Chief Justice and her team on their preparedness to deal with legal issues that may arise out of this year’s elections to which they received a positive response.

“We are in the last mile of the race of the elections and the courts have a role to play…On a joint visit of the AU and UN, we interaction with the Chief Justice and her team, who assured us of their readiness for the elections,” he said.

Mr Chambas underscored the need for the judiciary to work with some urgency in order not to derail the electoral calendar. “They should be up to the task by engaging in speedy adjudication of election related matters to save the electoral calendar. I don’ think we should be in panic mood yet,” he advised.

The citizenry, he said, also have a crucial role to play in the judicial process by showing confidence in the judicial system and other key stakeholder institutions as well as allow them the space to work.

But he indicated the institutions themselves also have to exhibit commitment, saying, “the judiciary, police and of course the Electoral Commission must also demonstrate professionalism, impartial and with high commitment to ensure that the example that Ghana is in the management of elections remains as such”.

He also urged Ghanaians to endeavour to safeguard the peace in the country, especially as the country prepares for the December 7 general elections because the world will be monitoring. 



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