General Post-Election Observation
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has been observing the general electoral and political environment since the December 7, 2020 elections. The post-election observation focused on 30 selected constituencies where some post-election developments such as electoral violence and or election disputes took place in the immediate post-election period. CODEO released its first post-2020 election observation report on Wednesday, February 3, 2021. In this second and final post-election observation statement which focuses on the period January 26, 2021, to February 23, 2021, CODEO observer reports showed that the post-election environment remained generally peaceful with no incidence of violence recorded. Observers indicated that they did not witness or hear of any person or group of persons vandalizing properties in relation to the 2020 election outcomes. Observers also did not witness or hear of any election-related assault on people/citizens in the constituencies observed.
With regards to parliamentary election disputes, reports from the observers indicated that a number of cases filed by some 2020 parliamentary candidates, including candidates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and those of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are still pending before various courts. Court applications filed by some of the candidates are seeking cancellation and nullification of election results, while others are seeking for re-collation of results. Some of the constituencies affected by election disputes in the courts include Hohoe in the Volta Region, Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region, Savelugu in the Northern Region, Essikadu-Ketan in the Western Region and Techiman South in the Bono East Region.
The 2020 Presidential Election Petition
CODEO has noted the March 4, 2021 unanimous verdict of the Supreme Court which dismissed the presidential election petition (the second under the 4th Republic) filed at the Court by the NDC’s 2020 presidential candidate, former President John Mahama, which sought essentially, to challenge the validity of the presidential results declaration made by the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) in the aftermath of the 2020 elections.
CODEO commends Mr. Mahama and the NDC for pursuing their grievances through legitimate election adjudicating channels, including the courts. CODEO particularly commends Mr. Mahama for accepting the outcomes of the election petition despite his disagreement with the legal processes and the Court’s verdict. CODEO also commends the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP for generally conducting themselves well during the court hearings and its aftermath. CODEO further urges all parties and candidates to use legitimate processes to resolve any outstanding grievances. The Coalition believes that this second presidential election petition under the 4th Republic will help deepen respect for the rule of law and further strengthen the electoral processes through appropriate recommendations for electoral reforms.
Recommendations and Conclusions
CODEO calls on the EC to, as part of its review of the conduct of the 2020 general elections, reflect carefully on its election results management processes and make appropriate reforms to deepen stakeholder trust and public and confidence in electoral outcomes. In doing so, the Commission must adequately involve relevant stakeholders such as political parties, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), security agencies, the National Media Communication (NMC) and the media, among others and take on board their inputs.
CODEO once again calls on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Ghana Police Service to inform Ghanaians about the status of investigations into all incidents of electoral violence which took place during the 2020 elections. CODEO reminds the IGP that he owes the Ghanaian public a duty to provide such information, which will go a long way to bolster public confidence in the criminal justice system. Thus, it will be a huge disappointment if the IGP and the Police Service fail to live up to this expectation.
CODEO also calls on the judiciary to expedite action on the various parliamentary election petitions pending before the courts, while urging all parties to such disputes to remain calm and allow the legal processes to conclude.
Finally, CODEO commends all Ghanaians for their general conduct during the 2020 presidential election petition proceedings and outcomes.
CODEO’s post-election observation exercise is made possible with the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Dated: Thursday, March 11, 2021
LIST OF CONSTITUENCIES OBSERVED BY CODEO IN THE POST-ELECTION PERIOD
|2.||Greater Accra||Ablekuma Central|
|3.||Ashanti||Ashanti Akim North|
|10.||Bono East||Sene West|
|11.||Bono East||Techiman South|
|17.||Eastern||Upper Manya Krobo|
|19.||Central||Awutu Senya East|
|20.||Central||Awutu Senya West|
|21.||Central||Ajumako Enyan Esiem|
|22.||Central||Upper Denkyira West|
|24.||Western North||Sehwi Wiawso|
|28.||North East||Yagaba Kubori|