A 12-member delegation from Kenyan`s Judiciary Committee on Elections (JCE) has conferred on Civil Society Organizations (CSO) in Ghana on the role played in ensuring peaceful and credible 2016 elections. The LRC, a member of the Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO) and Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) with other CSOs at the meeting welcomed the move as laudable especially as Kenyans go to the polls this year. Briefing the CSOs on the purpose of the visit, a Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya, Justice Philomena Mwilu said it was necessary to confer with Ghanaian CSOs to learn lessons on how it interacted with the Ghanaian Judiciary and the electorates in terms of how disputes on elections could be well handled.
Receiving the delegation, Major General Nii Carl Coleman of the CFI indicated that voter education for both candidates of political parties and electorates, collaborating with various security agencies towards ensuring security of elections, and issue based campaigning were, inter alia, the role CSOs played in ensuring the 2016 peaceful elections.
In addition, a co-Chair of CODEO, Professor Miranda Greenstreet disclosed that one major concern of CSOs in the run up to the 2016 elections was to ensure that Ghana`s pre-elections environment was sufficiently prepared for the elections. In this vein, she stressed that ensuring credible voter register was non-negotiable in ensuring that the elections reflected the will and choices of the electorates.
On his part, Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey corroborated that Ghanaian CSOs are organized within a common platform/coalition which made it vibrant in championing the course of ensuring peaceful elections.
The delegation`s visit comes at a time when Kenya is preparing for its general elections on August 8 this year since the country adopted its new Constitution.
The Kenyan delegation commended the CSOs for creating time to interact with them and its role and commitment in the 2016 elections which has further deepened Ghana`s democratic credentials. It also said that the visit would help them generate and document lessons that their judiciary could consider adopting as the East African country goes to the polls this year.
On behalf of the CSOs, General Coleman thanked the delegation for interacting with them and learning from Ghana`s peaceful elections.