African countries are encouraged to follow the Namibian example in handling electoral processes and conducting elections in a fair and transparent manner, as well as dealing with post-poll disputes that may arise thereafter.
This was the view expressed by Namibia’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Charles Josob, during an interview with New Era ahead of Ghana’s general elections scheduled for December.
Ghanaians are going to the polls to elect a new president and members of parliament. The elections were originally scheduled for November 7, but the date was postponed by that country’s parliament to December 7.
“Namibia is in a good position that the ongoing process reflects what she is already implementing successfully and that democracy is flourishing in our country,” said Josob when asked about notable lessons that Namibia and Africa can learn from the election process.
Josob says a number of African countries will have elections this year and it would be important for them to assess the administration of the processes leading up to the elections, including how the Electoral Commission of Ghana (ECG), conducts business.
“It will be also important to see how political parties behave and how citizens exercise their right and whether the outcome of the elections is accepted and implemented, or challenged,” he said.
He said in Ghana 15 political parties have nominated candidates with running mates. There are, however, three parties without running mates and one independent candidate without a running mate.
According to Josob, presidential candidates in Ghana were expected to make a payment of about N$195 000 with the submission of their candidature between September 13 and 30, whilst parliamentarians are expected to pay N$39 000 to enter the race. However, he said these amounts were not paid due to the fact that one of the parties – the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) – is challenging the ECG on this in court, although they brought a bank draft in the amount of Ghane Cedi 50 000 when submitting their candidacy forms.
“This leaves a question mark on the matter of the fees, because the ECG expressed an opinion after accepting the PPP bank draft that it could be a sign that the PPP was withdrawing the challenge. None of the other parties brought any deposit,” he said.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is also scheduled to hold elections some time in November, while the date for elections in Somalia are yet to be announced.