The Electoral Commission (EC) has begun a series of engagements with its media partners aimed at seeking support for free, fair, transparent and accountable elections in 2020.
When the commission paid a courtesy call on the management of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) last Wednesday to seek its support and partnership as it discharges its constitutional mandate, the Chairperson stressed the need for the media to assist the commission to roll out its electoral reforms.
The Daily Graphic is delighted at the EC’s initiative to intensify its dialogue processes with its key stakeholders as the nation inches closer to the crucial 2020 elections.
We also find it healthy that the EC has decided to communicate wide for broad acceptance of its electoral programme of activities for 2019 and 2020.
Of particular interest is the assurance the commission gave that it would open its doors to answer any questions regarding its operations.
It is also worthy to note that the EC is working with its external partners to conduct an institutional audit to come up with workable policies and recommendations that will help streamline and sanitise its operations to enable it to deliver free, fair and transparent elections.
We note the focus of the commission, over the years, on its core mandate of electoral management which, overtly, had led to it paying little attention to building its institutional systems to guide its operations.
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It is a pain to note that the EC used to be a very grey area where anybody could take advantage of the poor system.
The career path was not properly structured and some employees had not been promoted for over 10 years, which certainly led to low morale.
But the good news is that a lot is being done currently to motivate staff.
While the EC is working at reforms by establishing a good governance framework, the Daily Graphic would like to call on all stakeholders, including political parties, to support and partner it to deliver and discharge its mandate efficiently because our belief is that election management is a shared responsibility.
We were also happy that the EC Chair reiterated the fact that the commission was strictly a neutral body, as none of its activities had been done in secret.
This should put to rest the perception among some political parties that the EC was not being neutral. And we commend the commission in its efforts to build transparent systems that are clear, with a good governance framework to promote efficiency, high principles and moral authority in the management of the electoral process.
Our expectation is that the commission will continue to engage with the political parties on various platforms, including the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meetings, to ensure that their concerns relating to the handling of electoral activities are addressed to strengthen the trust and confidence of the people in the commission.
We remind the commission that going into 2020 will be very demanding, and for the EC to do its work successfully will require trust and teamwork with all stakeholders to make the electoral system transparent.
Ghana’s Fourth Republic is over 25 years and we have learnt many lessons that must be applied to make subsequent elections better, especially the upcoming presidential and parliamentary polls in 2020.
Let stakeholders, especially the political parties, team up effectively with the EC to deliver another excellent elections. This is a charge we must not fail to keep.