Stay On Track For Peaceful, Violence-Free, Credible 2020 Polls—UN Urges EC

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General (DSG), Ms. Amina J. Mohammed has underscored the importance of free and fair elections that is peaceful, transparent, inclusive, and credible and administered by strong, confident, and reliable electoral institutions.

She made this observation during her recent visit to Ghana when she met with the Electoral Commission and the National Peace Council.

The Chairperson of the EC Mrs. Jean Mensa highlighted a number of significant achievements, challenges encountered and how the EC has responded and addressed those challenges, citing transparency, regular updates on the Commission’s preparations towards the elections, and immediate response to complaints as the hallmark to ease tensions around the elections.

She informed the DSG that, with three weeks to go for the December elections, the EC is 97% ready and does not foresee any setback. The DSG, in commending the EC on its preparedness, called on the EC to continue dialoguing with key stakeholders in a view to creating an inclusive and conduce environment for holding elections. She also shared the idea of creating a “Youth Situation Room” in order to involve the youth in disseminating accurate and reliable information on the electoral process via social media.

During the meeting with the 6-member delegation of the NPC, led by its newly appointed Chairperson, Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, the DSG said: “The enthusiasm and expectations of stakeholders and the people of Ghana are very high and [their] voice in keeping the peace is critical to ensuring peaceful elections”.

In a sub-region with increasing conflict, this was crucial, the DSG stated, for the sustenance of peace in the country and by extension in West Africa and on the continent.

The Council presented a report on Eradicating Political Vigilantism in Ghana to the DSG and shared its ongoing efforts to promote peaceful elections and assist in defusing tensions at different levels such as creating awareness on vigilantism and Related Offenses Act, 2019 (Act 999).

In commending the Peace Council, the DSG encouraged tapping into Ghana’s strong network of Queen mothers to enhance the participation of women and youth in promoting peaceful elections.

At a press briefing at the end of her visit, the DSG acknowledged that the stability in Ghana provides hope to build a more ambitious development program and attract the finances necessary to recover from the socio-economic impacts of COVID 19 and build back better.

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