The Electoral Commission (EC) has spelt-out the roles of election observers as against monitors to avoid any ambiguity in the performance of their duties on Election Day.

The two terms have sometimes been used interchangeably, however there are fundamental differences.

An election monitor is an integral part of the election management structure and has a role in the administration of the election, whereas an election observer did not have any role, control nor oversight functions in the administration of the election.

“In Ghana, only the EC and its duly authorised personnel are those empowered to monitor elections,” Mr Kwame Amoah, the EC Greater Accra Regional Director, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Thursday.

He said it was important to make those differentiations as attempts by observers to sometimes overreach the ambit of their brief had resulted in misunderstandings and confusions.

“It is important to emphasis once again that under Ghana’s laws, it is only the EC that has authority to monitor elections,” Mr Amoah said.

He urged the media, political parties, candidates, and observers not to usurp the powers of electoral officials in their quest to perform their duties.

“It will be a breach of the rules and regulations governing election observation for any observer, be it international or local, media or government appointee other than the EC official to assume the role of election monitors,” he said.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.


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