The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has released its second pre-election environment observation findings for the period of August and September.
This was part of its total election observation duties in the run-up to the December 7 polls.
The findings are a compilation of bi-weekly field reports submitted by CODEO’s Long Term Observers (CODEO LTOs) deployed in 134 out of the 138 constituencies selected at random from the 10 regions
According to a summary of the findings, the Electoral Commission (EC) is undertaking key preparatory activities ahead of the elections across the constituencies.
CODEO LTOs report that, the EC carried out recruitment of and training for their election staff, received candidate nomination forms and held Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meetings in the observed constituencies during the reporting period.
Meanwhile, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) still remain the most visible parties in terms of election campaigning across the constituencies under observation with key messages centred on issues relating to education, unemployment, health and corruption.
Per the report, the NDC however is in the lead as the party that featured women and Persons with Disability (PWDs) as primary speakers on their campaign platforms. The NPP, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) followed slightly behind.
CODEO’s pre-election observation report indicates that, the NDC and the NPP have vigorously intensified their election campaigns. Both parties, held regular party meetings, rallies and party parades in the constituencies.
Other parties including the PPP and the CPP, however, were not as vibrant with respect to their campaign activities.
The report explains that among pertinent issues discussed on different campaign platforms, political parties prioritised four major policies touching on education, unemployment, health and others with education topping the chart.
The pre-election observation report also states that, radio remains the main medium for civic and voter education in the constituencies.
In some constituencies, civic and voter education were constantly ongoing on radio, at community meetings, through the use of posters and street announcements in the constituencies.
Civic and voter education programmes were conducted by the National Commission for Civic Education, the EC, political parties and civil society organisations, with specific targets on the youth, political party faithful and officials as well as women, traditional authorities and disability groups.
According to CODEO’s report, chiefs of the various areas are generally adhering to the constitutional and election rules to remain non-partisan in their operations.
The report however indicated the inadequate visible security preparatory activities such as District Security or Regional Security meetings in the constituencies. Security agencies are however, reported to be going according to the law with their presence; granting political parties permissions to hold rallies in the various constituencies.
CODEO observers are tasked to observe the general political environment, including election-related preparatory activities by state and non-state actors, civic and voter education programmes as well as political party campaigns.
The LTOs also observes the conduct of the security agencies, electoral irregularities and pre-election dispute settlement.
CODEO has given the assurance to the public that it would continue to observe the pre-election environment as the political parties and other key stakeholders intensify their election–related activities in the weeks ahead and will duly share its findings with the public.
CODEO’s long-term pre-election observation of the political environment is being supported by the United States Agency for International Development.