The role of the media in ensuring free, fair, and transparent presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7 in Ghana is very crucial, Charlotte Osei, Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC), has said.
According to her, this year’s elections will be one of the most transparent in the history of Ghana, but before this can be achieved, all the players in the electoral process, including the media, should play their roles with the national interest at heart.
Speaking during an encounter with the media in Accra on Thursday November 10, Mrs Osei said: “This year’s elections will even be more transparent, and even more credible and be accepted by all than the 2012 elections. And we keep making sure that every election sees improvement beyond the last elections.”
“So we accepted your invitation without hesitation because we think it is valuable partnership and very beneficial for the work of the commission and for the work of the media. As you are all aware, we are just days away from probably the most important event in our nation’s calendar this year – the presidential and parliamentary elections. This is the time when we as a people get to decide who leads the country and who represents us in parliament. This is a very critical decision, and to do that as the institution that is mandated to organise the elections, it is impossible for us to do our work effectively without the media.
“…Can we have successful elections without the media? No. So the same way that the Electoral Commission has a responsibility, so does the media. To have a peaceful election, we need an Electoral Commission that is strong, that is independent, and that is subject only to the laws of Ghana, whether as passed by the legislature or as pronounced by the Judiciary …”
She added that: “The other things we need to have are very clear electoral laws and commitment by all the players whether as voters, whether as candidates or whether as Electoral Commission to abide by those laws. And respect the laws of all the other players in the process.
“We also need a media just as strong, just as independent as the Electoral Commission and a media that is subject only to the national interest and not personal or parties’ interests. We need civil society support, we need a mutual, balanced civil society to make sure that the process is successful and not to promote the views of any one side of the electoral process.”