Once again, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Charlotte Osei, has reiterated her strong commitment to more transparent, credible and acceptable December 7, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Although this assurance, made at a meeting with the Editors Forum in Accra yesterday, gives a ray of hope, it is time we shifted from rhetoric to concrete implementable actions.
Clearly, the EC has, over time, been giving the nation these assurances, yet the political environment is still charged with mistrust.
With barely 26 days to this year’s elections, it is critical for the EC to show, by deeds and actions, its intended commitment to free, fair and transparent elections.
In line with this objective, the EC has no choice but to deepen its relations with all its stakeholders, particularly the political parties or actors, and get them to understand what the commission is doing.
In the view of the Daily Graphic, it is time to end the mistrust existing between the commission and some parties and build bridges through more engagements.
It is worthy of note that at the Editors Forum, the EC Chair said given the preparation that the commission had put in place and the collaboration that it had with the security agencies, the elections would be free and peaceful.
While agreeing with the fact that security is essential, steps must also be taken to build trust in the whole electoral process. This means that all election-related materials must be in place at the right time and place for incident-free polls. The final voters register for the elections must also be made available to all the parties for study.
Fortunately, balloting for positions on the presidential ballot paper has been done and it is important that the printing of ballots for the elections commences soon.
The Daily Graphic anticipates no problems with the use of the biometric verification devices (BVDs) during the elections. Even if there are difficulties with their usage, trained technicians will be readily available to work on the faulty BVDs.
While the EC is making strenuous efforts to ensure a transparent electoral process, other stakeholders, particularly the parties, must equally cooperate with the commission to attain the world-class election that the commission has promised.
The Daily Graphic pleads that with less than 26 days to the crucial polls, all hands must be on deck to help attain trouble-free and incident-free elections.
That is the least we can do to sustain the credibility of our governance process, which has been globally touted as the beacon of hope within a turbulent sub-region.