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Carter Center Launches Election Observation Mission to Ghana


Deborah Hakes, 404-420-5124

The Carter Center launched an international election observation mission in Ghana this week with the deployment of four teams of observers to four regions around the country.  Observers will focus on the recently announced limited voter registration exercise and the pre-election political environment as part of the Center's ongoing international election observation program.

The Ghana observation mission is being coordinated by the Carter Center's country director, Dr. Keith Jennings, who has been in Ghana since May.  The Center's international observers are drawn from eight countries: Argentina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zimbabwe. Collectively, the Center's observers have previously participated in international observation missions to more than 25 other countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

In September, The Carter Center is planning to deploy a delegation of long-term observers during Ghana's campaign period. They will remain in the country for several months and be joined by a 50-person short-term delegation closer to the Dec. 7, 2008, elections.

"The Carter Center looks forward to showing international interest in and support for Ghana's electoral process and the holding of transparent and credible elections that meet international standards and can be accepted by all political contestants at this critical time for democratic elections in Africa," said Dr. Keith Jennings.  "We believe that our presence and our reporting on the country's electoral process to the world will help to further consolidate the democratic process in Ghana."

Dr. Jennings welcomed the adoption of the Political Parties' Code of Conduct 2008 by all major political parties on July 24.

"This is an important step in encouraging political parties to engage in a clean campaign," said Dr. Jennings.

The Carter Center conducts its activities in a nonpartisan, professional manner in accordance with applicable national laws and international standards for election observation set forth in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005. 

The Center will remain in close communication with the Ghanaian Electoral Commission, Ghana's major political parties, key civil society organizations, and other international and domestic observer delegations. The Center will release periodic public statements, which will be available on its Web site:


A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

Read more about the Carter Center's work in Ghana >>

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