Ghanaians Abroad Can Vote In 2020--CODEO
The National Coordinator of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Mr Albert Arhin, says it is entirely possible for the Electoral Commission to put in place the necessary modalities for Ghanaians abroad to vote in the 2020 General elections.
The former Director of Operations at the EC believes the elections governing body has done enough already in collating information about Ghanaians abroad and must expedite action in implementing the law allowing diasporians to vote.
His comments come hours after an Accra High Court, Human Rights Division ruled in favour of some five Ghanaians living abroad who sued the EC over its failure to implement the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act, 2006.
The Law passed in 2006 was to allow Ghanaians living abroad to take part in Ghana’s elections.
However, 11 years after the passage of the law, the EC has been dragging its feet in its implementation.
The Commission had time without number complained about resource and logistical constraints in implementing the law.
This angered five Ghanaians living abroad - Kofi A. Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah, Christiana Sillim and Agyenim Boateng, to proceed to court to force the hand of the EC to implement the law.
The court presided over Justice Anthony K. Yeboah on Monday, described as outrageous, the reasons given by the EC for its inability to have Ghanaians abroad take part in local elections.
He ordered the Commission to immediately operationalize Ghana's laws to allow citizens resident abroad to take part in national elections starting from Election 2020.
The EC was also handed 12 months to ensure the relevant Legal Instruments backing elections is put in place.
The applicants, together with their lawyer Samson Lardy Anyenini welcomed the verdict as a feather in the country's democratic cap.
The EC is yet to make any official comment after the ruling but the National Coordinator for CODEO Albert Arhin told Joy News the EC “must go back to the drawing board and pick the pieces.”
“It is time to gather more information for them to draft a constitutional instrument spelling out the modalities for the election,” he stated.
For an EC whose leadership is in complete turmoil and with three of its Commissioners battling a possible impeachment, it is not clear if the body will be in the right frame of mind to put the Legislative Instruments together.
But Albert Arhin said with a little direction from the embattled Commissioners who are still at post, the directors should be able to put in place the necessary legislative modalities for Ghanaians abroad to vote in 2022, which would have been 18 years after the passage of the law.