A Member of the European Parliament and Chief Observer of the 2020 European Union Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Ghana, Mr. Javier Nart, on Sunday April 11, 2021,
paid a courtesy calls on Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and other officials in government.
Mr. Javier Nart spent three days in the country as part of his visit and during the courtesy call on Hon. Shirley Botchwey, welcomed him to Ghana and commended his team for a successful election observation mission undertaken in different locations of the country during the presidential elections held on 7th December, 2020.
She applauded the efficient work executed by the 2020 EU Election Observation Mission, with a team of 9 Election Experts who arrived in Ghana on 31st October, 2020 and stayed until the completion of the electoral process, and further mentioned the roles played by 40 long-term Observers who joined the Mission on 7th November, 2020 and were deployed across Ghana’s 16 regions ably supported by 30 locally recruited short-term Observers on Election Day.
Hon Aryokor Botchwey recalled with satisfaction the unwavering support extended by the EU to Ghana’s electoral development, demonstrated by the 2020 Mission, the third EU Election Observation Mission to Ghana, following the first one during the 2008 elections and the second Mission for the 2016 elections.
She stated that the 2020 presidential elections was confronted with an unexpected challenge, namely the COVID-19 pandemic, which required the introduction of safety protocols to ensure voters felt safe.
Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction with the fruitful relations between Ghana and the European Union (EU) and commend the EU for consistent support over the years including the financial assistance of 87 million euros in budget support to Ghana as part of the COVID-19 response.
Madam Aryokor Botchwey indicated that according to the pre-election Voters’ Register, over 17 million qualified adults had registered to take part in the December 2020 elections compared to 15.7 million registered voters during the 2016 Elections demonstrating a greater involvement of Ghanaians in the election of leaders.
She observed that for the first time, female participation had manifested at leadership level with one female running mate and three female presidential candidates, however express regret that women were still underrepresented because out of the 275 Members of Parliament, only 46 are women;
She futher highlighted the successful elections held in 2020 in Ghana and other West African countries such as Guinea, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Niger, reflecting increasing democratic development and consolidating participatory governance in the sub-region.
Foreign and Regional Integration Minister, emphasized Ghana’s commitment to promote democracy and the rule of law and inform that the recommendations from the final report of the EU Election Observer Mission will be taken on board in order to improve upon elections in the country.