Participants at a post-election evaluation workshop have observed that sensitisation and education of the public on the declaration of subsequent general election by the Electoral Commission (EC) must be intensified to forestall chaos.
The participants noted that, many Ghanaians were ignorant of the 72-hour deadline for the EC to declare the just ended election results and so there were some form of agitations and impatience among a large section of the public and that could degenerate into something else to mar the beauty of Ghana’s democratic achievements.
The participants who included heads of stakeholder institutions and organizations were of the view that the education on the declaration of the results must be a central focus next time by all stakeholders who embarked on any sensitization or education on the duties and responsibilities of the electorate.
The participants in their discussion recalled that by December 9, because of the provisional results announced by media houses, “a section of the electorate concluded that the EC was deliberately holding on the declaration of the results and that trend is dangerous for our democracy and must be addressed urgently”
The Post-election evaluation workshop was organised by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) with support from Star-Ghana, for the southern zone including Greater Accra, Volta, Brong Ahafo and the Eastern Regions in Koforidua to discuss the key lessons, successes and challenges in implementation, identified in the 2016 elections for documentation and improvement.
The participants were made up of representatives from the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ghana Police service, EC, Media, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Election Observer groups, and other stakeholders who played varied roles in the 2016 elections.
Director of Operations at IDEG, Mr Kofi Awitty, said ahead of the December 2016 elections, IDEG and the civic forum initiative (CFI) with support from Star-Ghana, African Capacity Building Foundation, Ford foundation, Danish Institute of parties and Democracy, IBIS and AUSAid, made some interventions targeted at ensuring peaceful, credible and inclusive elections.
The objective he noted was to empower the deprived citizens, provide appropriate platforms for the poor, women, youth and other vulnerable groups in the regions to participate adequately.
He said the zonal post-election evaluation workshops were to assess the effectiveness of the interventions in contributing to the success of the elections and to document the lessons thereof through a documentary to be produced and disseminated widely, as a way of building on the gains of the 2016 elections intervention to sustain the principle of inclusive participation in governance.