Improving electoral processes necessary to build trust of citizens- CDD 

By Elizabeth Larkwor Baah 

Tema, April 27, GNA — Dr. Kojo Asante, the Director of Programmes and Policy Engagement at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), has said that improving electoral processes is key to building the trust of citizens in the upcoming elections. 

Dr. Asante said although elections were not a substitute for democracy, they were an integral part of democracy that enabled the citizens to credibly and legitimately secure their will in choosing a leader to govern the affairs of the country. 

He said that the electoral process must be improved to meet the principles of elections, which include fair representation, competition, transparency, accountability, and freedom of speech, among others. 

“You can’t say that when you have elections, you have democracy, or that when you have quality elections, you will have quality democracy, but you always need elections for democracy to work,” he stated. 

Dr. Asante made this known during a two-day workshop organised by the CDD in collaboration with the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and the Affirmative Action Bill Coalition, with support from the European Union (EU). 

The workshop was aimed at equipping journalists with the knowledge and capacity to advocate electoral reforms in election results management. 

He noted that revamping electoral processes would create a serene and peaceful environment needed for the citizens to go through the process smoothly. 

He said that after the 1992 elections, there were some changes in the electoral system of Ghana to ensure that the subsequent elections were free and fair, which included holding presidential and parliamentary elections on the same day. 

Dr. Asante added that the reforms also saw the replacement of opaque ballot boxes with transparent ballot boxes and the establishment of the Inter-party Advisory Committee (IPAC), among others, to enhance the electoral process. 

Touching on some needed key reforms ahead of the 2024 elections, he said the Electoral Commission (EC) must establish procedures for correcting errors and issue a timely, transparent process for the publication of detailed polling station centre results on their website after the elections. 

He further said that there was a need to improve the set-up of the collation centres to promote transparency and enhance security to reduce the number of deaths during the upcoming elections. 

He explained that the number of polling stations was increased with six electoral officials at each centre to reduce the queues in the 2020 elections, which sped up the voting process, and expressed the hope that challenges that emerged at the collation centres would be addressed accordingly.