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27.06.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: NDC Bent On Disenfranchising Ghanaians Abroad

ADM

Accra daily Mail -- Ghanaians in the Diaspora send home an estimated US$ 1 billion per annum. It may even be more. This huge sum goes in the form of remittances to families, investment in building projects, assistance to business ventures, etc.

Indeed part of the start-up capital of ADM came from Diaspora sources, so we know the worth of our brothers and sisters abroad. They deserve recognition and not only that but lots and lots of gratitude.

That is why we supported whole-heartedly the NPP government's decision to commence legislative action before Election 2004 to extend to our brothers and sisters living abroad the right to vote in Ghanaian elections. The NDC kicked against this very noble and patriotic decision, accusing the NPP of trying to rig the elections.

Typically, the NPP "listened" and decided to shelve the Bill that had been presented to parliament till after the elections.

Six months after the elections, the NPP has resurrected the Bill, and the NDC is kicking a fuss again citing all sort of hysterical reasons to sabotage the Bill once more.

This time round, we hope the government would pursue this noble legislation with a single-minded determination and have the Bill passed.

The NPP must make use of its majority in pursuit of this nationalistic ideal. What the NDC is failing to realise is that without an enabling law, we cannot even begin to debate issues of appropriation, logistics, and crucially the extra legislation we would need to give the Electoral Commission new powers to conduct elections abroad.

What the NPP is doing is to kick-start the process early, so that, if possible, by the next elections, Ghana would be in a position to enable if not all, but a lot of her citizens living abroad to exercise their franchise. Is this what the NDC finds so objectionable?

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