UG lecturer chides EC over delays in ROPAL implementation
A political science lecturer at the University of Ghana is chiding the Electoral Commission for failing to take concrete steps to implement the law that allows Ghanaians living outside the country to vote in local elections.
Dr Alidu Seidu believes if the law had been piloted shortly after it was in passed in 2006, perhaps, the Electoral Commission would have, by now, noticed the challenges involved in implementing it and found a way around such challenges.
The Representation of Peoples Amendment Law was passed by the Kufuor-led administration in 2006 to enfranchise Ghanaians living abroad.
The law was in line with Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution and was amid protestations and stiff opposition from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Article 42 says "every citizen of Ghana, of 18 years of age or above and of a sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda".
Over eleven years after the law was passed, the EC has yet to implement it, except to give promises that the law will be implemented in phases.
As a result of the delay, five Ghanaians living abroad have sued the EC demanding the execution of the law.
They argue the continued delay in implementing the law is a flagrant violation of their right to vote.
On Wednesday, an Accra High Court judge, Justice Anthony Yeboah gave an order for the EC to produce evidence that it is taking steps to implement the law.
The order was made after the EC stated in its defence in the case before the court that it was already in the process of implementing the law.
The court gave the EC two weeks to furnish it with the steps being taken to ensure Ghanaians everywhere take part in local elections.
In an interview with Joy News, the political science lecturer, Dr Alidu Seidu said the expectation was that the state should liaise with the EC to start piloting the Act.
Even though he admitted that the piloting will mean disenfranchising some Ghanaians living abroad, he believed that was the best way to begin implementing a rather complicated law.
“We need to know the number of Ghanaians in other countries,” he said, adding that will also help in the implementation of the law.
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah