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ECOWAS to deploy observers for the 7 December 2016 general elections in Ghana
Amos Sawyer, Head of the ECOWAS short-term observer mission


Accra, 3 December 2016

Former Interim President of Liberia’s Government of National Unity, Amos Sawyer, will lead the ECOWAS short-term observer mission for the presidential and legislative elections in Ghana slated for Wednesday 7 December 2016.

The mission being deployed by the regional organisation, given its Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, is to ascertain that the electoral process is conducted properly to ensure free, transparent and credible elections. The mission will comprise of 94 observers, of which 80 are short -term while 14 are long-term.

The short-term observers will come from all Member States of the ECOWAS, except for Ghana, and the Community Parliament. The short-term mission will also comprise of members of the Civil Society, representatives of electoral commissions in West Africa, Ambassadors of Member States accredited to the ECOWAS, and observers from the Koffi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre.

However, the 14 long-term observers deployed since 27 November 2016 are experts in security, gender, electoral operations, constitutional laws and political affairs.

The short-term and long-term missions will receive on-site support from a technical team from the ECOWAS Commission. The team will comprise of the Commission’s Vice President, Edward Singhatey and its Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Halima Ahmed. The Director of Political Affairs, Dr. Remi Ajibewa, the Head of the Electoral Assistance Unit, Francis Oke, the Acting Head of the Communications Unit, Liberor Doscof Aho, and other officials of the institution will also form part of this team.


The observers will be deployed to Ghana’s ten (10) regions, to observe and monitor all the pre-election, election and post-election polling operations, and to remark on the conduct of the elections. Their observation will focus on the conformity, transparency, fairness and smooth conduct of the legislative and presidential elections.

At the end of the elections, the ECOWAS observer mission will present its view and where the need arises, make recommendations to the different stakeholders in the election process. The Head of the Mission, Amos Sawyer, is therefore expected to make a preliminary statement at a press conference that will hold in Accra on Thursday 8 December 2016.

There are seven (07) presidential candidates contending in the upcoming elections. The outgoing president, in power since 2012, John Dramani Mahama, of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, of the New Patriotic Party (NPP, the main opposition), and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, of the National Democratic Party (NDP).

Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Paa Kwesi Nduom, of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Edward Mahama, of the People’s National Convention (PNC), and the Independent Candidate, Jacob Osei Yeboah, are all vying for the highest office of their country.

Aside from electing their president for the next four years, Ghanaians will also be going to the polls on Wednesday the 7th of December 2016 to elect 275 members of Parliament. 1158 candidates are running for the legislative positions.

ECOWAS appeals to candidates, leaders of political parties as well as activists and sympathisers, for the conduct of the elections in an atmosphere of peace, calm, and national cohesion.

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