The European Union’s Election Observation Mission (EOM) final report on Ghana’s 2020 election says the mechanism in appointing Chairpersons of the Electoral Commission is not inclusive and does not inspire confidence in the institution.
Excerpts of the report stated that “the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) has a good track record in organizing credible elections. However, its appointment mechanism is not inclusive, does not build confidence in the institution, and has remained an issue over two successive elections. All seven members of the EC are appointed by the president for an indefinite tenure without consultation of the opposition.
“Four EC members – including the chairperson and two deputies – were appointed by the incumbent President in July 2018, after the previous EC leadership was removed from office for misbehaviour and incompetence. The main opposition party, the NDC, frequently accused the EC of bias and declared it had no confidence in the EC leadership.”
The report also stated that the ruling NPP was highly favoured by the state broadcaster than its main competitor, the NDC.
According to the report, 26.2 percent of airtime on election-related news programmes focused on activities of the NPP while 15.8 per cent was allocated to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“GBC, overall, provided a fair opportunity to all political contestants through various programmes aired by both GTV and Uniiq FM.74 Nevertheless, the EU EOM’s media monitoring findings show that GTV favoured the NPP by allocating it 26.2 per cent of airtime in its election-related news and programmes, compared to 15.8 per cent allocated to the NDC.
“Furthermore, the NPP and its presidential candidate benefited from extensive additional coverage on GTV (22.1 per cent of airtime) through news and live broadcasts of inaugurations and projects launched by the President or government representatives, often including campaign songs and messages. Focusing only on the coverage received by presidential candidates, the difference of airtime is slightly higher, with Nana Akufo-Addo receiving 33 per cent and John Dramani Mahama receiving 19.1 per cent of airtime in the state-owned TV.
The tone of GTV’s reports, however, was generally neutral.”