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AU and ECOWAS Commissions embark on pre-election mission to Ghana

A high-level joint delegation from the African Union Commission and the ECOWAS Commission has visited Ghana, November 15 to 17, 2020 to engage key stakeholders in the upcoming election process.

Of particularly interest would include key institutions involved in the process; political parties and representative of civil society organizations as well as the Electoral Commission. 

President of the Commission Jean Claude Kassi Brou, led the delegation and had Madam Minata Samate Cessouma Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union, General Francis Behanzin Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission and Ambassador Baba Gana Wakil, ECOWAS resident representative in Ghana.  

Whilst in Ghana, the mission seized the opportunity to extend their condolences of both institutions to the Government and people of Ghana, in particular to the family of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings who recently passed on.  

The mission called on Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchawy who thanked both institutions for their timely conduct of joint mission and assured them of the commitment of the Government to ensure peaceful, free, fair credible and transparent elections on December 7, 2020.  

Additionally, the mission held consultations with key stakeholders including the Minister of National Security, Interior, the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) and representatives of major political parties and met with group of African Ambassadors, Board of the National Peace Council (NPC) and some representative of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). 
The joint mission took note of progress and assurance by the EC on the preparation towards the conduct of credible, free, fair and transparent elections and urged the EC to continue working closely with all stakeholders for an inclusive process, whilst ensuring that adequate measures are put in place for the strict adherence to the protocols on COVID-19 pandemic during the elections.  
In a joint statement the mission urged authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure violence-free elections, and expressed satisfaction on the passing of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019, by the Ghana’s Parliament and the signing of code of conduct on the eradication of political vigilantism in Ghana, under the auspices of the National Peace Council.

On security the mission commended government on measures put in place to ensure peaceful conduct of elections, and further encouraged all stakeholders to resort to the use of dialogue as a mechanism to addressing all differences and disputes on issues relating to the elections. 

The joint mission reiterated the support of ECOWAS and African Union and assured the stakeholders that both institutions would deploy election observer missions to support the ongoing process.  

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/

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