Centre for Performance Tracking and Outcome Mapping (CePTOM), an election observer group, says from the perspective of project management, 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections were conducted in a transparent, credible, and fair manner.
CePTOM deployed a total 1,505 officers and agents to 1,200 polling stations identified as flashpoints across 100 constituencies in 15 Regions, excluding Western North.
CePTOM used outcome mapping as a project management tool to assess the performance of the Electoral Commission (EC) and its boundary partners and to track the performance of the key actors in the 2020 General Election in Ghana and mapping the outcomes of their respective interventions and activities.
Presenting the preliminary conclusion and recommendations at a press briefing, Mr Ato Bonful, the Programme Director of CePTOM, said there were seamless interactions between the EC and its officials with political party agents, boundary partners and electorates.
However, it said “there were rare instances of infractions committed by some of the temporary staff of the EC as reported by our field officers.”
He said also isolated but very significant individual issues were raised by party agents, boundary partners, and the media.
“Thus, whilst CePTOM commends the Electoral Commission for the efforts in implementing key reforms, there are important issues that require immediate attention,” he said.
A key issue is the independence of the Electoral Commission should be respected at all times by all stakeholders and boundary partners.
Also, the independence of the EC and other constitutionally mandated bodies, including the National Commission on Civic Education and COmmission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, should be respected.
Touching on the importance of the EC officials in the elections, Mr Bonful said the officials; whether temporary or permanent hold the most critical position towards the eventual winner of all elections.
To this end, the recruitment, training, posting and management of temporary and permanent EC officials at Polling Stations are crucial to the outcomes of every election.
“ CePTOM’s findings are that nearly all the EC officials at polling stations were the temporary staff. The independence, integrity, knowledge and abilities of these staff are not well known and the few cases of serious infarctions e.g., tearing of candidate’s pictures on ballots were perpetrated by individuals. They were not systematic ploys by any party,” Mr Bonful said.
On the Declaration of the Presidential Results, Mr Bonful said the Commission was duty-bound to consider all exigencies including acts of God and undertaking scenario planning prior to fixing the dates.
“The law requires the Electoral Commission to declare the outcomes of the Presidential Election within 72 hours. It is commendable to do this earlier than 72 hours. However, any shorter timeline given should be realistic and should be adhered to,” he said.
He urged all political parties especially Presidential candidates to be aware of the duty of care imposed on them by their positions and the by the privileges accorded them by the Republic of Ghana.