Members of the West African Elections Observation Team WAWEO WAWEO set to observe Ghana?s 2012 Elections

Members of the West African Elections Observation Team (WAWEO) are set to observe the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ghana on Friday December 7, 2012.

This assurance was made by the Head of the observation team, a co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Ms. Leymah Gbowee at a press briefing on December 5, 2012 to mark the arrival of the team in Ghana.

She pointed out that the WAWEO team has been constituted by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and Women in Peace and Security Network ? Africa (WIPSEN ? Africa) in response to a recommendation made at the 2nd Annual West Africa Women?s Policy Forum which took place in Abidjan, Cote d?Ivoire in November 2009.

The Head of the Observation team in Ghana pointed out that their task is to:

Observe relevant aspects of the organisation and the conduct of the general elections.

Make an honest impartial and independent assessment of the entire election process.

Observe the gender aspects of the organisation and conduct of the elections in accordance with laws of Ghana as well as relevant regional and other international commitments; and

At the end reach a conclusion as to whether conditions existed for the women of Ghana to freely express their will through the polls.

The Chairperson of WAWEO, Ms. Eunice Akweley-Roberts, former Elections Commissioner in Ghana explained that a team of WAWEO member from Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Cote d?Ivoire, and Burkina Faso would be deployed to observe the elections in four (4) regions of the country including Ho in the Volta region, Kumasi in the Ashanti region, Accra in the Greater-Accra region and Tamale in the Northern region.

Ms. Akweley-Roberts added that twelve (12) members of WAWEO have also been invited for deployment as part of the 250 observers being deployed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission to observe the elections on behalf of the regional body in the 10 regions of Ghana.

WAWEO?s mission in Ghana is to gain a broad overview of the entire electoral processes.

The advance team has consulted widely with relevant stakeholders to observe the general preparedness towards the elections, and as well obtain first-hand and credible information on the elections processes.

Some of the stakeholders consulted by the advance team includes ? the Director of Operations and members of National Electoral Commission, Director of Operations of the Ghana Police Service, Representatives of Political Parties, civil society groups including IBIS-Ghana, ABANTU for Women?s Development, Media Foundation for West Africa, Institute for Democratic Governance, the Ark Foundation, Media agencies, other international and domestic observers group present in the country amongst others.

Ms. Gbowee concluded that Ghana?s elections would be the 5th deployment of WAWEO in West Africa since its inauguration. WAWEO observed the first and second round-off of Liberia 2011 general elections; Senegal 2012 general elections, Guinea Bissau 2012 Presidential elections, Sierra Leone 2012 general elections, and was set for the aborted general elections in Mali.

Source Citi News Ghana

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