Thursday, January 8, 2009

Canada commend Ghana’s Electoral Commission

The Government of Canada on Thursday commended Ghana's Electoral Commission (EC) for organizing free, fair and transparent elections, which has brought peace to the country.
     "Ghana's democratic achievement serves as beckon of hope for Africa and a demonstration of how democracy should work…this is a model worthy of emulation by other democratic countries across the world," Mr Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board of Canada stated in Accra.
     Mr Saxton was part of a five-member Canadian delegation lead by Mr Darren Schemmer Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, to asses the impact of Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) support for Election 2008.
     The CIDA project dubbed: "Safeguarding the Integrity of the Ballot" was facilitated by KAB Governance Consult in pursuance of EC's determination to have credible and very transparent elections in December 2008.
    The project entitled the EC to train polling agents of presidential and parliamentary candidates throughout the 230 constituencies in Ghana from 21st to 26th November 2008 as part of 'Safeguarding the integrity of the Ballot".
    Other aspect of the project was an engagement with Presidential Candidates; Running Mates and their National Executives, who had the opportunity to share their thoughts with the Commissioners forum for aspiring parliamentary candidates. 
     Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, EC Chairman, explained that the project enabled the Commission to equip agents with skills and knowledge to enable them to play their watchdog role effectively at the polling stations, thereby contributing immensely to acceptance of the elections results.
     The EC Chairman said the role of political party agents in the electoral process was critical to enhance the credibility of results.
     Dr. Afari-Gyan said "the accredited agents performed creditable on Election Day but unfortunately some parties failed to adhere to the rules and sent unaccredited agents who caused most of the troubles".
     He said the project would be more fruitful is parliamentarians would be engaged in-between elections to build upon cordial working relationship between stakeholders.

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