Ransford Gyampo, an associate Professor at the University of Ghana, has urged government to disregard foreign observer missions who monitor elections.
According to him, observers’ mission such as the European Mission do not churn out anything contrary to local observers report.
His comments follow the release of EU Election Observer Mission’s final report on Ghana’s 2020 elections. Professor Gympo urged Ghanaians to rather focus more on “our local observer missions”.
“I don’t think we need the EU again to come and tell us what we did right and what we did wrong. We, ourselves, if we are doing the wrong thing, we know.
Speaking in an interview, Prof. Gyampo revealed that the local observers have experience in the political terrain of Ghana.
That notwithstanding, the EU chooses personnel who do not appreciate the political atmosphere. Thus, these observers decide on what to observe.
No new recommendation in EU report on election
Professor Gyampo further averred that Ghana is capable of improving its election processes without guidance from the EU observer missions.
According to him, the EU obsevers are not saying anything that is completely new. As a result, he insisted that we must not begin to take them serious.
“I saw some of the recommendations that they made to the effect that we should give a fixed term of office to the EC chair. I think this recommendation is something that we have made long ago”.
The EU observer report, among other things, indicated that the election was generally free and fair. This, it revealed, is true despite electoral violence which occurred in some areas of the country.
The EU also made 18 recommendations. This includes having the Electoral Commission publish on its website detailed polling station results for all elections. It also included the establishment of clear procedures for presiding officers, returning officers and regional collation officers.
The report also recommended how to proceed in cases of irregularities during the counting and collation process.
In light of this, Prof Gyampo noted that Ghanaians have consistently exhibited signs that democracy is here to stay.
Imbalances in election coverage by media houses
Meanwhile, the Media Foundation for West Africa has questioned the validity of the findings in the EU’s report on Ghana’s election.
Executive Director for the Foundation, Sulemana Braimah, explained that the analysis suggested that there was some “imbalance” in coverage of the elections.
He argued that the phenomenon is typical of every election season and cannot be interpreted to mean that media houses deliberately favour parties in power.
“It’s been the phenomena since the 1992 elections and every election. That’s the pattern. It is a very complex thing because every party in government will organize a number of programs, sod-cuttings, commissioning of projects in election years. In such events, there are election messages. So if you look at it, you will be tempted to code it as coverage in favour of the ruling party.”