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11.02.2006 General News

Allegations of Registration of Ghanaians in UK -Response

By NPP UK AND IRELAND BRANCH, LONDON

NPP (UK& Ireland) Branch's Response to Allegations of Registration of Ghanaians in UK to Vote In response to an allegation made by Hon Alban Bagbin, the NDC Minority Leader in Parliament to the effect that the Ghana High Commission in UK has begun the registration of Ghanaian nationals to grant them voting rights, we the members of NPP (UK & Ireland branch make the following statement thereto: There is no truth whatsoever in the allegation Mr. Bagbin made on Peace FM's 'Parliament on Radio” a weekly current affairs programme. No Ghanaian in UK and Ireland, and certainly none of our members or sympathizers have been approached by the Ghana High Commission in UK to be registered for the purpose of granting them voting rights in future elections.

The High Commission in UK has issued a statement denying this allegation and we hereby corroborate and endorse the veracity of the statement of the High Commission. The truth of the matter is that the High Commission in UK and all foreign missions have from time immemorial been encouraging all Ghanaians abroad to register in accordance with Page 1 of the Republic of Ghana passports which states as follows:

“Ghanaians who are resident abroad should at the earliest opportunity register their names and addresses at the nearest Diplomatic Mission or Consulate of Ghana. Failure to do so may in a period of emergency result in difficulty or delay in according them the assistance and protection of which they are entitled…

The Ghana High Commission in UK has been very proactive since 2002 in encouraging Ghanaians to register and this registration has nothing whatsoever to do with voting rights in Ghana. In UK it is customary for the present High Commissioner to meet all Ghanaians every year at a forum to discuss matters affecting our dear nation. This meeting which is usually well attended and patronized by Ghanaian social groups and individuals alike has always been used as an opportunity to remind Ghanaians about the need to register while they remain abroad irrespective of their political affiliation.

At the first ever of the forum organized in 2002 by the present administration of the High Commission at Park View Academy in Tottenham, London, registration forms were made available to Ghanaians to register. This was long before the Representation of the Peoples' Amendment Bill was conceived as an idea; let alone drafting it as a bill. So far, according to the Ghana High Commission in UK, 500 Ghanaians have registered and this procedure is something all Ghanaians abroad must take seriously for our welfare and protection. We must therefore commend the present High Commissioner in UK for being proactive in reminding Ghanaians of our duty.

There is therefore no truth whatsoever in the allegation that the High Commission has started registering Ghanaians for the purpose of granting them voting rights in Ghana when the ROPAB becomes a law.

We in NPP (UK & Ireland) branch condemn such misinformation which we believe is calculated to create political instability, which does nothing to enhance the image of NDC as an opposition party. We believe that Hon. Bagbin was mischievous and dishonest in making an allegation which he knew was not true. We therefore call on Hon. Bagbin to do the honourable thing by resigning as minority leader.

We are also advising the NDC parliamentary Group to return to Parliament to do the job they were elected to do, which is to make laws, so that their contribution can help the bill to be couched in a language and form that will ensure that all Ghanaians, home and abroad will have their right as enshrined under Article 42 of the Constitution.

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