ROPAA Implementation In The Offing
The Electoral Commission is to set up a working group that will facilitate the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA).
The working group, according to the EC, will be made up of representatives of registered political parties and civil society organisations.
According to a statement released by the Commission, the working group would be tasked with the responsibility of defining the modalities, scope and timelines for the implementation of ROPAA.
“The Commission would set up the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) Working Group which would be made up of representatives of registered political parties and civil society organisations. The working group will undertake nationwide consultations with other relevant parties. The working group would be tasked with the responsibility of defining the modalities, scope and timelines for the implementation of ROPAA.”
Political parties and civil society groups have been given till Monday, October 22, 2,018 to submit names of their representatives for the committee.
Three persons would represent the EC, the active political parties with at least two representatives in parliament will have one representative each, all the other active political parties with no representation in Parliament will also nominate one person, and the civil society groups will also have one representation.
The ROPAA law seeks to empower eligible Ghanaians abroad to vote in national elections. Successive governments have failed to ensure its implementation, since its passage in 2006.
A High Court in Accra in 2017 ordered the Electoral Commission to implement within 12 months the ROPAA law, 2006 [Act 699], indicating that the EC had for the last ten years breached the rights of Ghanaians living abroad by failing to give them an opportunity to vote.
His Lordship Justice Anthony K. Yeboah who gave the judgement in a High Court had condemned the EC's failure to address challenges preventing Ghanaians living abroad from voting, and specifically asked them to ensure that arrangements are made for such people to vote in the 2020 elections.
He said Parliament passed the ROPAA law, and that the EC can cause the same Parliament to approve funding for them to ensure the implementation.