October 19, 2020

Mr. Kwesi Jonah a senior research fellow of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) has said despite the funding challenges that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the country are faced with even as the December 7, 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections are approaching.

CSOs would work hard to ensure that Ghana’s elections are peaceful, credible and acceptable to Ghanaians including the international community.

According to him looking at Ghana’s democratic reputation, it has a big reputation to maintain. Global Peace Index has ranked Ghana first and second on the African continent and now third which means it’s within the first-class zone when rated.

At a forum organised by the Ministry for Parliamentary Affairs on the theme, “CSOs and democratic elections in Ghana: The 2020 elections in focus”, speaking on behalf of CSOs, he pointed out that they are wholly funded by international donner organisation. And the outbreak of COVID-19 coupled with some domestic issues have affected their prominent role they play during previous elections.

Mr. Jonah further pointed out that stakes are very high in this year’s elections where for the first time in the nation’s history, a former president is contesting a sitting president, as previously it has been a sitting president going for a second term and it was a referendum on what he has been able to achieve.
“In this case, a former president coming back saying I delivered a lot of infrastructure development, vote for me let me come back and it’s a do or die for his supporters”.

He further pointed out that, previously IDEC would have conducted parliamentary debates but that is not the case now because of their constrains, and again election observers are going to be cut down drastically, due to financial constrains in the wake of the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Again, Collation of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and IDEC which got four thousand and thousand two hundred observers out there, this would not be the case this time around, he said.

Mr. Jonah further lamented that, seven months into a general elections, previously in all regional capitals IDEG usually sets up a situation room to keep watch of political campaign within a particular region. But as at Thursday, October 15, 2020 they are yet to set up such an office despite the fact that they are late they are going to set it up.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com