Former head of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has cautioned election observer groups to desist from finding faults during elections.
He has urged to election observers to instead collaborate with election management bodies to achieve credible, transparent and peaceful democratic elections.
“As far as possible observe the voter registration period being the building block of an election,” he urged observer groups.
The former EC Chairman was speaking at a conference by Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) in Accra on Tuesday.
”I hope you will keep in mind that election observation is not fault-finding but a fact-finding activity,” he admonished the election observer network.
Dr Afari-Gyan’s said beyond technology, an Election Management Body (EMB) has a responsibility to put its house in order for elections.
“At minimum, it must build checks into the electoral process, such that genuine mistakes and deliberate wrongdoing can be detected. It must also train all categories of election officials well to be able to deliver services in a transparent and efficient manner,” he added.
“Where election officials are ill-prepared, biased, or corrupt, technology cannot be used to achieve credible elections.
The human factor that impinges on the delivery of genuine elections is not to be found only in the EMB. For example, the unwillingness of political parties to exhibit democratic behaviour and play by the laid down rules is a huge and negative factor in an election. This is only one example.
He also urged election management bodies to adequately improve the skills of their officials to avoid elections-related errors.
“As far as possible, observe the voter registration period, being the building block of an election. Finally, I hope you will keep in mind that election observation is not a fault-finding but a fact-finding activity.
“The stance facilities collaboration between observer groups and EMBs for the common purpose of achieving genuine democratic elections,” he said.