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Civil Society and the Conduct of Free, Fair and Credible Election: Lessons from the Ghanaian Experience
Election is a major institutional pillar of liberal democracy. The conduct of regular elections is considered the single most important indicator of the presence or absence of the democratic context of the rule-based free, fair and credible election. However, for elections to represent the wish of the electorates, it must be credible and the process leading to it must be free and fair. Thus, the electoral process must not be left to the government and government established agencies alone. Rather, it requires the vigilance, involvement and monitoring of Non Governmental agencies like civil society to prevent the government of the day from wielding the power of incumbency to skew the electoral process in its favour. This essay therefore examined the activities of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in ensuring credible, free and fair elections in Ghana. The findings revealed that CSOs have played some crucial roles to ensure that electoral processes and elections are free, fair and credible in Ghana which has often been described as the pride of African democracy. The aim of the paper is to encourage civil society organizations in African countries to wake up to their responsibility, work together with their governments to make electoral processes and elections credible, free and fair so as to rid the continent of its notorious record of post election violence.