Accra, Feb 23, GNA – The Head of the European Union (EU),Ambassador Claude Maerten has praised Ghana for its democratic credentials, saying the country has been recognized worldwide as the beacon of democracy in Africa.
The Ambassador made the observation when he paid a working visit to the Upper West Region of Ghana to hold discussions with the regional authorities and officials of the Electoral Commission and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) on decentralisation issues and the preparation of the 2012 general elections.
He said it was for these reasons that the EU found it necessary to support the EC and NCCE, especially with the introduction of the new Biometric Voter system to enable them to come out with a credible biometric voter register.
A statement from the EU and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said this would not only lead to free, fair and credible general elections on December 2012, but would further enrich Ghana’s democratic gains across the world.
Hajia Saadatu Maida, the EC Commissioner in charge with the supervision of the Upper West Region, expressed her gratitude to the EU for its long standing support and noted that the EC would not leave any stone un-turn in its quest to migrate successfully into the electronic voting system.
She added that with the support of the EU, training would be provided for their staff including the thousand of officials, who would be recruited to help carry out the exercise, adding that the number of polling stations had increased to 23,000 to make voting more accessible to the people.
During the two-day visit, the Ambassador and his team paid a courtesy call on the Upper West Regional Minister Alhaji Issahaku Salia and the Wa Municipal Chief Executive Officer to discuss issues on decentralisation.
The Ambassador also went on a field trip to some polling stations in the municipality of Wa and later met with officials of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Mrs. Augustina A. Akumanyi, NCCE Deputy Chairman, Operations and Mr. Ban Banye, NCCE Regional Director.
A community durbar was later held in his honour on February at Kpangu or Kpongu hosted by the chief of Naa Seidu Briamah Kube I
The European Union (EU) is supporting the three independent constitutional bodies involved in the electoral process of the country with an amount of seven million Euros.