Stakeholders that met in Tamale on the implementation of the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA); the law that would allow Ghanaian citizens resident outside the shores of the country to take part in domestic elections, have given varying reasons on why the law should be implemented or otherwise.
The engagement which was under the auspices of the Electoral Commission (EC), allowed the stakeholder including security personnel, political party representatives, traditional and religious leader as well as the media and representatives from Civil society to make input into the document that would allow ROPAA to function effectively when it takes effects.
ROPAA, Act 2007, Act 699 mandates the EC to set up a consultative and implementation committee to make recommendation on how ROPAA can be implemented.
During the engagement, some participants including the Mayor of Tamale, Iddrisu Musa Superior, were of the opinion that all Ghanaians citizens outside whether with valid documents or should be allowed to take part in elections run by the EC. Others mainly from the opposition NDC had concerned about how Appointees of government would be given powers by the EC to manage elections on its behalf saying; that would not lead to free and fair polls.
There were also some whose views were on the lack of data on Ghanaians nationals outside and others who think ROPAA should be limited to elections like presidential and referendums nut not parliamentary or local Assembly elections.
A former legislator and minister of state under the NDC government, Dr. Benjamin Kumbour, now a law lecturer who is part of the committee spelled out their Terms of Reference.
A deputy chair of the EC and a member of the seven member committee put in place by the EC to solicit inputs from across the country explained that having become law, ROPAA had not being implemented due to some constraints. This has resurfaced currently at the law court.
Dr. Bossman, however maintained that no decisions had been taken yet on ROPAA’s implementation as well as related funding which rest of the government’s decision.