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18.05.2007 General News

NPP guru flaks ROPAA

By myjoyonline

A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Andy Appiah Kubi, has observed that it is unnecessary for any political party to seek to influence the activities of the EC and by extension, compel it to implement the Representation of People's Amendment Act (ROPAA).

Mr. Andy Appiah-Kubi, according to The Chronicle, noted that any attempt by a political party to put undue pressure and influence on the EC would be totally unacceptable and unconstitutional.

Stating that the EC should be left alone to execute its mandate without interference from any political party, he added that should the EC kowtow to the whims and caprices of any political party and create polling stations outside the geographical jurisdiction of Ghana, it would be doing something that would be tantamount to an illegality.

"It would be wrong for anybody to influence the EC in any way. It is the EC itself that should present its budget to the government for consideration. Any attempt to influence the EC in matters relating to the performance of its function, would be unconstitutional," the paper quoted him in an interview.

Mr. Appiah-Kubi's comments followed a recent statement by the Information and National Orientation Minister, Hon. Kwamena Bartels, calling on the EC to submit its budget on the possible implementation of the ROPAA in the 2008 elections and the recent suit filed by three Ghanaians domiciled in the United States seeking a declaration in court for the ROPAA to be implemented.

Supporting his arguments with constitutional provisions, Mr. Appiah-Kubi, who contested the General Secretary position of the NPP and lost to Nana Ohene-Ntow, underscored, "I don't agree with the whole concept because everybody is free to exercise his or her franchise. It is therefore unnecessary," he stressed.

Quoting Article 46 of the Constitution to buttress his point, he said, "the independence of the EC is guaranteed except as provided in this Constitution or in any other law not inconsistent with this Constitution. In the performance of its function, the EC shall not be subjected to the direction or control of any person or authority."

Mr. Appiah-Kubi, a Lawyer, contended that laws were made to govern the EC to determine how it should work effectively. He urged all citizens to ensure that the independence of the EC remained paramount.

Quizzed on whether his seniors who advocated the law and others who joined the fray demanding its implementation in 2008 were not conversant with the legal interpretations of the mandate of the EC, he said he just believed that the whole concept was wrong.

"I am not saying this through any political lens. It is purely an intellectual argument but I actually disagree with their understanding and the interpretation of the whole concept," he said.

To him, the EC would be committing an illegality if it commis¬sioned polling stations outside Ghana.

"Any law that would carry the jurisdictional effect of the constitutional provision outside Ghana is unconstitutional," Mr. Appiah Kubi maintained, arguing that the current Constitution had made adequate provisions for people as far as the right to vote was concerned.