A Pre-election Survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development Ghana (CDD-Ghana) indicates that majority of Ghanaians has expressed confidence in the integrity and competence of the Electoral Commission (EC) and its ability to deliver free and fair elections on December 7.
They believed that EC’s level of preparedness, together with other election-related state and non-state agencies, especially the military and police service, is adequate.
According to the Survey, respondents expressed broad confidence in the EC and other allied bodies’ ability to deliver credible Election 2020, although there was considerable apprehension about violence by party and candidate supporters.
The survey, which had 2,400 respondents, was conducted between September 28 and October 16, 2020 and it was aimed at picking early warning signals by tracking citizens’ opinions on the overall level of the country’s preparedness for elections; public confidence in the competence, integrity and neutrality of election-relevant state and quasi-state bodies; and voter behaviour, expectations, priorities and potential turnout.
They document averred that most Ghanaians believed that the EC and other state elections-related bodies were well prepared for the election.
The survey rated the preparedness of the institutions as 91 per cent for the Ghana Armed Forces, 89 per cent for the media, 87 per cent for the police, 83 per cent for the EC and 66 per cent for the National Peace Council.
The preparedness of the National Commission for Civil Education (NCCE) was rated at 60 per cent, while that of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) was rated at 54 per cent.
“Solid majorities are positive in their evaluations of the EC’s competence and integrity of its leadership as well as the new voters’ roll,” it stated.
Meanwhile, some 64 per cent of the respondents believed in the competence of EC’s commissioners to deliver free and fair elections, 17 per cent of them said they had a little belief in the competence of the commissioners, with 15 per cent saying they did not believe in the electoral body.
Regarding the integrity of the EC to deliver free and fair election, 65 per cent of the respondents said they had confidence in the EC to do so, while 16 per cent said they had a little confidence, while 15 per cent said they did not believe in it at all.
On the integrity or quality of the new voter register, 68 per cent of the people said they had confidence in it with 15 per cent saying they had little confidence and 14 per cent having no confidence at all.
“The EC enjoys decent trust rating, but less than the Ghana Armed Forces, media and police,” the Survey indicated and pointed out that, per the performance breakdown the army has 85 per cent; media, 78 per cent; police, 72 per cent; EC, 67 per cent; court, 66 per cent and the Peace Council, 65 per cent.
The Presidency however enjoys 61 per cent of the trust of those surveyed, with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) enjoying 58 per cent and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) enjoying 47 per cent, with other opposition parties enjoying 28 per cent. Ghanaians overwhelmingly accept the EC’s authority to declare results; for the courts to make binding decisions, and for the police to enforce the law.
Most of those surveyed remained concerned about the activities of party vigilantes, as eight in 10 respondents in the survey desired for armed security personnel presence at the polling stations.
That notwithstanding, most eligible Ghanaians had registered to vote, and many were actually planning to vote, the finding suggested.
The Survey she noted, pointed to the fact that almost all respondents reported that they were registered to vote, with nine out of 10 of those interviewed indicating an intention to vote.
“That strong resolve to vote had downplayed the likelihood of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) depressing voter turnout on Election Day, the findings pointed out. However, a substantial majority of respondents want to see independent domestic and international observers present for the polls.”
It has also been indicated that the respondents largely think the NPP and the NDC had stuck to issues that will inform the direction of their votes include infrastructure, especially roads (51 per cent), unemployment (44 per cent), education, 28 per cent; health, 21 per cent; management of the economy, 20 per cent; poverty/destitution, 16 per cent; electricity and water, 11 per cent each; wages, salaries and income, seven per cent and corruption, six per cent, ahead of the forthcoming elections.