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Mar 13, 2019 | Politics

Undocumented Ghanaians Abroad Can't Frustrate ROPAA Implementation – EC Told

By Modern Ghana
Undocumented Ghanaians Abroad Can't Frustrate ROPAA Implementation – EC Told

The Electoral Commission (EC) has since its passage failed to implement the Act.

An earlier reason given by the Commission when it was chaired by Charlotte Osei for its failure to implement the law was the unavailability of the required resources.

Not even a suit and an order by the Accra High Court in 2017 for the Commission to begin the process of implementation has caused it to act.

In that case, the Presiding judge, Justice Anthony Yeboah, chided the EC for breaching the rights of Ghanaians living abroad by failing to give them an opportunity to vote.

He thus 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.

Related: Participants at consultative meeting oppose ROPAA implementation

If the processes had started as the court had ordered, the EC should have completed the process by the end of 2018.

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Jean Mensa is Chair of the EC

Although it has set up a Committee to see to the implementation of the Act, the EC last month filed a motion seeking an extension of time to implement the orders of the court.

The Commission now chaired by Jean Mensa attributes its failure to implement the law when they took over from the previous administration to the December 2018 Referendum and the creation of the six new regions it has had to oversee in the early days of its tenure.

However, five citizens who have questioned the EC’s failure to implement the law filed an application at the High Court citing all seven members of the Commission of contempt.

The applicants; Dr. Kofi Boateng, Agyenim Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah and Christian Sillim; are praying the Court to commit the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa and six others to a jail term for disobeying its order.

Mr Anyenini who represents the applicants is unhappy with the EC over how it has handled the issue so far and casts doubts on the Commission’s commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the Act.

“No amount of convincing by the EC will get me to believe that they are committed. They have gone to sleep from day one, except setting up a committee.”

--- Myjoyonline

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