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President Akufo Addo stops European observers from monitoring December polls

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Banda Constituency in the Bono Ahafo Region, has revealed a very worrying report that President Akufo-Addo, tried to exclude foreign election observer missions from coming to Ghana to monitor the December presidential and parliamentary polls.

The MP, Ahmed Ibrahim, disclosed that, President Akufo-Addo, had informed European Union (EU) observers, who have been part of the country’s elections since 1992, not to bother themselves this time by flying to Ghana to monitor the country’s seventh general elections, because Ghanaians have gotten acclimatized to all electoral processes and will do everything according to procedure.

With less than 70 days to the crucial elections, the President holds the view that, deploying officials of the European Union (EU)-Election Observer Mission (EOM), from their bases in Europe into the country was not something he felt was necessary, because he thinks Ghana has gone past that era.

This is the first time a Ghanaian leader, is reported to have tried stopping independent observers, including foreign observers from playing a role in the country’s general elections.

But the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), an independent and non-partisan organization made up of civil society groups, faith-based organizations and professional organizations which has observed elections in Ghana, have complained about some activities, including the gun violence which happened at the Ayawaso Wuogon, leaving people maimed for life.

However, according to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker for the Banda Constituency, President Akufo-Addo, told the European Union Mission that Ghana was a matured democracy, hence no need to involve outsiders in its elections going forward.

The MP who is also the Minority Chief Whip, told Eric Ahianyo on Woezor television that, President Akufo-Addo, told the Mission in a meeting that Ghana was capable of handling it own affairs and so should be left alone.

“As leader in Parliament, we all met the European Election Mission and they told us categorically clear that president Nana Akufo-Addo had already assured them that he was not expecting them to come in the December 7 election.

Simply because, Ghana was a matured democracy and that we will able to have our own election, so there was no need for other foreign election observers, to come to Ghana and observe.

Yeah, he said he didn’t want them to come with full fledged European observer team, and watch the elections….he was of the view that Ghana has come of age, and we were a matured democracy” the MP who was stunned by the information said.

But the unimpressed MP, said he straight away rejected the position of President Akufo-Addo and laid all the facts bare.

In the video that has since gone viral on social media,the NDC MP said, he insisted why the team should not listen to the President by making available all the brutalities that were recorded during the registering exercise where two lives were lost from the Bono Region alone.

One of such lives according to reports was lost in the Banda Constituency.

He said, he provided all the evidence in his possession to contradict the President’s claim. He mentioned in particular, the challenges his party went through and also the military cum vigilante intimidations and brutalities in parts of the strongholds of the NDC.

“I said ah, (I was part of the team) I put it to them and I gave them all the videos of what happened during the voter registration exercise, the kind of hostilities the opposition party had to go through, and how military were used together with vigilantes and how militaries were sharing guest house and rooms with vigilantes and all”.

The parliamentarian, said laying all the facts on the table, the Mission was stunned and said they will feature in the elections.

“After showing the videos, they said wow, well are coming full fledged”.

This comes at a time the Electoral Commission (EC) led by it chairperson, Jean Mensa appears to have messed up the recently compiled voter register, leaving many registrants with wrong information and hundreds of thousands of names missing.

Although, the recent poor performance by the EC, has raised concerns and suspicions about the December elections, the President has been claiming he will want to superintendent over an event free elections, but there is fear the elections may run into challenges if some claims by especially the NDC, are not looked into.

Last week, the NDC flagbearer and former President, Johm Mahama and his vice presidential candidate, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, suspended their campaign activities in the Bono and Central Regions respectively to get the EC to work and rectify the unpardonable anomalies in the electoral register.

With the activities of National Security operatives, especially at Ayawaso West Wuogon, the recent voter registration exercise and other actions of the various security agencies, the absence of the independent observers like the EOM, will spell doom for the country.

Source: TheHerald Ghana

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