By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Dec. 6, GNA – The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), a regional civil society organisation, in collaboration with the National Peace Council (NPC), has launched the Election Situation Room to monitor the December 7 polls.
The Election Situation Room (ESR) is a situational analysis platform to observe, report, analyse and facilitate responses to violent threats, voter corruption, and compliance to electoral code.
It is also to report on human rights abuses to ensure the peaceful conduct of the presidential and parliamentary elections.
It is a component of a broader project dubbed: “Electoral Violence Monitoring, Analyis and Mitigation” funded by the European Union and implemented with support from the Economic Community of West African States and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel.
The project aims to contribute to the mitigation of electoral violence through the implementation of electoral violence prevention and mitigation mechanisms/measures in Ghana.
The ESR, which would be operational for three days (December 6 to 8) would be collaborating with the Joint Operations Centre of the National Election Security Taskforce, as well as the Situation Room of the National Commission for Civic Education.
Reverend Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, the Chairman of the NPC, who formally launched the ESR on Sunday, noted that WANEP and its partners had deployed 350 accredited observers in prioritized risk areas across the 16 regions of Ghana.
He noted that the Central Coordinating Room was located in Accra, while three Satellite Situation Rooms were located in Kumasi, Tamale and Ho to support response actions within the regions.
“The strategy for this operational structure is informed by the number of identified hotspots across the 16 regions through the WANEP National Early Warning System and therefore, requires proximity for quick turnover analysis and response to be provided by Satellite ESRs,” he said.
With regards to challenges for peaceful conduct of elections, Rev Dr Adu-Gyamfi mentioned the strict application of COVID-19 protocols to prevent an increase in cases.
He cited the perceived communication gap between the Electoral Commission and the public on issues pertaining to the 13,997 (0.08 per cent) exceptional list; 15,860 (0.09 per cent) multiple list and 514 missing details of voters in the EC’s database.
Others were the concerns of stakeholders about the EC’s ability to declare the election results within 24 hours after close of polls.
He called on all stakeholders to be tolerant of the electoral process and of each other.
“True to the ideas of peace and social cohesion, the ESR is committed to observing the ethics, integrity and transparency of the electoral process in order to contribute to the prevention of violence and human rights violation,” he said.
“The ESR will make public its preliminary statement on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 and a general report at the end of the electoral process.”
17,027,641 million registered Ghanaians comprising 8,810,283 (51.7 per cent) females and 8,217,358 (48.26 per cent) males would go to the polls for the eighth presidential and parliamentary elections under the Fourth Republic.