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23.09.2005 Diaspora News

Don’t Marginalise Ghanaians Outside — Nkansah

By Graphic
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A Ghanaian resident in the United States, has asked Parliament to go to any length to ensure that citizens living outside the country are not marginalised in major decision-making processes of the country.

Seth Nkansah, said the government and Parliament should make it possible for Ghanaians abroad to exercise their democratic rights as citizens of the nation.

The Immediate Past Vice-Chairman of the Chicago Chapter of the NPP, who is visiting home, made the call in an interview in Accra. The visit is one of Mr Nkansa's regular trips to the country as an executive member of the chapter.

Commenting on the People's Representation Bill which is before Parliament, Mr Nkansa said the demand for voting by Ghanaians abroad started in 1998 during the reign of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He said during a visit to the US by former President Jerry John Rawlings in 1998, the Ghanaian community requested that steps be taken to enable Ghanaians abroad to vote in national elections.

Mr Nkansa said having discussed the issue for more than six years, there was no need to further deny genuine Ghanaians the right to vote.

He said Kenyans, Filipinos and Afghans living outside their countries were allowed to participate in national elections.

“Ghanaians abroad should not be disenfranchised or punished because they are working in other countries,” Mr Nkansa said.

On the proper identification of Ghanaians, he explained that every citizen living outside Ghana had a passport which determined their nationality.

Besides, he added, Ghanaians living in the UK, Germany and the US were well organised, even on ethnic lines, such as Kwahus, Ewes, Fantes, Dagombas, Ahantas, Nzemas, Walas, Kusasis, Frafras, Mamprussies, Gonjas, Dagares and others, under an umbrella body of a Ghana National Council.

He said identifying Ghanaians for a national cause such as elections, fund-raising and other developmental activities would not be difficult to do.

On the lack of logistics, for citizens outside the country to vote, Mr Nkansa said there was time for everything and that planning was necessary.

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