Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana says the EU Observer’s electoral report on Ghana can only be considered reliable and candid after the institution presents a report on the just-ended US election.
Prof Ransford Gyampo speaking on Joy FM Thursday questioned how the controversial antics that characterised the US 2020 elections under the previous Trump administration were not put to scrutiny by the said observers, however, the Ghana 2020 general election was assessed with findings indicating it was free and fair.
He told Top Story host, Evans Mensah that “the EU election observation mission was silent when Donald Trump was playing the political buffoonery in their recently held elections.
“They didn’t say anything. What prevents them? Let them show us their report of the American election processes and all the things that went on there. If they are able to do so, then we can take them seriously.”
For him, although it is imperative to have the country’s electoral processes observed by foreign missions, it is high time Ghana starts investing in its domestic observation missions, therefore, the need to “kick against foreign observer missions.”
“Sometimes, because you may be a transitional democracy and you may not know really the rudiments on conducting free, fair and transparent elections, you have some of these countries or foreign observer missions who have benefited from more insight about how the processes are expected to be conducted – coming in to observe what goes on in your country.
“But in my view, and as a political scientist, I will tell you that foreign mission election observation cannot be continued in perpetuity particularly in countries like Ghana where there is clear evidence of a desire towards the maturation of our democratization process,” he stated.
To buttress his point on the need to invest in domestic observer missions, Prof Gyampo explained that over the years, reports from foreign observer missions have simply iterated what has already been communicated to Ghanaians by local observers.
The concerns raised by the astute political expert stem from an EU election observer mission report indicating that the country’s just-ended electoral process was free, fair and competitive although it was characterised by abuse of incumbency, misuse of state resources and vote-buying.
The report in question further noted that the verdict of the Supreme Court judges on the 2020 election petition filed by former President John Mahama was reliable.
According to Prof Gyampo, the content of the EU observers report particularly failed to indicate any information unknown to the Ghanaian citizenry on matters regarding the 2020 general elections.
“When I heard they had come out with a report, my first reaction was that as a country we must be kicking against foreign missions because really they do not say anything new. They don’t say anything we don’t know already. They don’t say anything that important local observation missions like the Coalition for domestic election observer has said. I think as we are growing our democracy, we must begin to place much emphasis on our own.
“I don’t see anything that the EU election observation mission has said that we don’t know already,” he added.
The lecturer also indicated that some recommendations made in the report such as a fixed tenure for the Electoral Commissioner was made way back in 2014 by a committee he was a member of.
Meanwhile, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has strongly opposed the credibility of the EU observer report, stating that it does not reflect the true picture on the ground.
According to the party’s Deputy General Secretary, Peter Otokunor, the Union’s report failed to fully capture the electoral violence that ensued in the 2020 general elections among other pressing matters.
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