Immediate past Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, has said Ghana’s pedigree as Africa’s most vibrant democracy with the freest and fairest elections on the continent was lost in the 2020 elections.
At a High-Level Post-Election Stakeholders’ Review Workshop of the elections in Accra, Dr. Chambas said the culture shock of deaths that resulted from election-related violence especially took the shine away from Ghana’s image.
“I hear that, indeed, in some of our neighbouring countries, we did witness crisis prior to the election, during the election and post-election including, for instance, Guinea and other neighbouring countries like Côte d’Ivoire where we had a large number of election violence. It is in that regard that we should also be concerned that perhaps we lost our bragging rights because used to be able to brag about the fact that despite tensions and differences during elections in Ghana, there are never any deaths, but I think this time our image has been dented.”
The stakeholders’ review workshop had been under the auspices of the Coalition Of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO).
Eight people, mostly of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NC) were murdered by security agents during the election that saw the re-election of President Akufo-Addo to a second term under the most controversial of developments.
Ghana’s Electoral Commission, which used to be one of the most respected in Africa doctored the election results several times, leading to the NDC rejecting the outcome and petitioning the Supreme Court.
However, the Supreme Court’s adjudication of the petition was so controversial that followers of the NDC now regard the court as an extension of the NPP.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ibn Chambas also lamented Ghana’s sharp decline in regional governance and human index benchmarks, especially for justice and democracy, as well as security and rule of law.
Referencing Mo Ibrahim’s latest report on democracy in Africa, he said Ghana has to deal with the issues.
“In the category of Justice and rule of law, our standing has declined given the parameters that the Mo Ibrahim foundation uses to rate African countries. We need to be conscious of that and interrogate what is causing the decline because we should be a leader in that category. We also see a decline in security.”