As part of their commitment to deepening democracy in Ghana, leaders of political parties under the IEA Ghana Political Parties Programme (IEA-GPPP) met and are requesting that the Electoral Commission release a timetable for elections in 2016.
"“Members [Political party General Secretaries] called on the EC to publicly clarify the nature of its relationship with STL, and clearly spell out the role STL will play in Ghana’s 2016 elections,” a communiqué further asked.
The last meeting of the Platform of General Secretaries was held on 4th November 2015 at The IEA. It was attended by representatives of the four political parties with representation in Parliament, namely NDC, NPP, CPP and PNC.
As part of their deliberations, members discussed Ghana’s Preparations ahead of the 2016 General Elections. They made key recommendations for safeguarding the interest of the nation before, during and after the elections.
The recommendations made to the Electoral Commission included:
The Platform noted that a key issue of concern regarding the work of the EC was the purported management of its database by STL Company. Members called on the EC to publicly clarify the nature of its relationship with STL, and clearly spell out the role STL will play in Ghana’s 2016 elections.
Members of the Platform noted that there was wide consensus that Ghana’s Voters Register contains illegal entries. The Platform therefore urged political parties and all other stakeholders to work closely with the EC to ensure that Ghana has an acceptable Register ahead of the 2016 elections.
The Platform called on politicians to eschew pronouncements which tend to undermine the peace and cohesion of the country. In particular, they cautioned against reckless threats to Ghana’s peace and security as a way of getting the EC to meet their demands regarding the Voters Register.
The political parties also made the following recommendations to the Security Agencies:
Members of the Platform recommended that the educational and professional training curricula of the military, police and other security agencies be enhanced with modules on managing election-related security issues. This is necessary in order to bring the professional conduct of Ghana’s security agencies at par with international best practice standards.
The Platform strongly condemned election-related criminal offences, and called for prosecution of all such offences. These include offences such as multiple registrations, impersonation, etc. Additionally, past allegations of unlawful conduct of presiding officers to undermine the integrity of the poll must be investigated and prosecuted accordingly.
The Media was also tasked to "act with circumspection and be guided by principles of truth and a consideration of the broader national interest".
The Platform further called on all politicians to put Ghana’s interest above all else, and resist being used as agents of clash politics by the media.
Going into Election 2016, the media must act with circumspection and be guided by principles of truth and a consideration of the broader national interest.