Dr. Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili, former Prime Minister of Lesotho, South Africa interacting with the media
An 18-member team of eminent persons from the Commonwealth Secretariat has arrived in the country to monitor the December, 7, polls.
The Observer Group is under the leadership of its chairman, Dr. Bethuel Pakalitha Mosisili, former Prime Minister of Lesotho, South Africa.
Announcing the presence of the team and its mandate at a news conference in Accra yesterday, Dr. Mosisili said that the Commonwealth had a long tradition of supporting elections in Ghana as its contribution towards further consolidation of the nation’s democracy.
He said that the 2012 polls were crucial to Ghanaians and it was, therefore, imperative that the elections become free, fair, peaceful, transparent and devoid of violence.
He said the Commonwealth Observer Group had already met and held discussions with some of the political parties namely; the NDC, NPP, CPP and PPP in connections with the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections and parties had expressed confidence in the National Electoral Commission.
“Our task as the Commonwealth Observer Group is to consider all the factors impinging on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole, and assess conducted according to the standard for democratic elections to which Ghana has committed itself with reference to its own election-related legislation as well as relevant regional, Commonwealth and other international commitments,” he said.
Dr. Mosisili said that the group had been encouraged by the recent “peace pact” signed by the political party leaders and stakeholders in Kumasi and have told presidential candidates to play their roles responsibly to ensure peaceful elections.
He said that the Commonwealth team would be deployed to various locations around in spite of its small size to observe the voting, counting and declaration of results through the co-ordination of other observers in the field to maximise the overview of the process.
He said that this year’s elections had given opportunity to make Ghana, Africa and the Commonwealth proud and thus pledged the unwavering solidarity of the secretariat towards a successful election.
Meanwhile he former Prime Minister of Lesotho, Dr. Pakalitha Mosisili has said that democracy is not about lust for power but the freedom, commitment and the zeal to serve once nation.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of a news conference at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra yesterday, the three-term Prime Minister but now a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Opposition Democratic Congress of Lesotho said that he was proud of Ghana’s style of democratic practice where the electorate come out in their numbers without antagonism towards one another to choose their national leader in a more decent and transparent manner without violent attacks as characterized in some African countries.
Dr. Mosisili who is the chairman of the Commonwealth Observer Group currently in the country to monitor the December 7, elections said that the peaceful atmosphere under which polls were conducted gives credence that “Ghana is indeed an oasis of peace in Africa.”
Talking about himself, he said that his present position as a Member of Parliament of an opposition party vis-à-vis his former position as a Prime Minister of an entire country, showed how committed he was in rendering selfless services to the people of Lesotho.
Dr. Mosisili made a passionate appeal to the Electoral Commission, political leaders and stakeholders in connection with the “Kumasi Declaration” to live up to their pronouncements and adopt a constructive approach to the entire electoral process to ensure a peaceful poll.
He said that the Commonwealth Observer Group would be impartial, objective and independent in the discharge of their duty adding that the assessment by the monitors (Commonwealth Group) would be their own and not that of any member government.