The conduct of elections is an important part of democratic practice and the credibility of election processes is vital to the sustenance of democracy. Indeed, the very stability of the nation is threatened when the electoral machinery becomes a tool for a Government maintaining itself in power at all costs.
The way in which this Bill is being sought to be implemented undermines the democratic process in Ghana through an insistence on forcing through the Bill on the people of Ghana. This must be a source of concern to every Ghanaian.
The Bill and the potential it creates for anarchy must be of concern to all Ghanaians. Anyone interested in good governance in Ghana ought to pay attention to the dangerous situation that is being created for the country should the Bill become law. If Parliament still insists on passing the Bill since it has the majority to carry it through, then it should consider carefully the following issues carefully.
i. Since the polling division requirement is the only legal barrier to the registration of overseas Ghanaians, then if the Bill should be passed at all, the amendment should be restricted to the removal of that requirement only;
ii. A credible institution must be tasked to undertake an estimate of how many overseas Ghanaians are eligible to be registered to vote.
iii. There must be an agreed modus for identifying a Ghanaian citizen for purposes of the registration of overseas Ghanaians.
iv. The phrase, “a citizen of Ghana resident outside the Republic” should be well defined.
v. There should be an initiated debate on the citizenship debate in all countries with a significant Ghanaian population.
vi. The Bill, or a Constitutional Instrument issued by the Electoral Commission, should contain a Schedule identifying the countries and the jurisdictions where registration of overseas Ghanaians may be undertaken as well as identifying registration centres in those countries;
vii. The Electoral Commission should be tasked to come up with various scenarios as to how they intend to implement the provisions of the Bill in terms of methods for holding elections, supervision, consultation and information awareness amongst diasporeans together with attendant costs and how it will be funded without undue burden on the Ghanaian tax-payer;
Should the above provisions and others raised by concerned citizens be implemented we would educate our members in Germany to support the government's effort in making such an exercise a success for the deepening and strengthening of the democratic process in Ghana.
Long Live Ghana ! Long Live the NDC! Kwasi Tamakloe NDC Germany Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.