Tamale, Feb. 15, GNA - Mr Albert Atutiga, Northern Regional Chairman of the Convention People's Party (CPP) on Wednesday called on the government to rescind its decision to pass the Representation of the People's Amendment Bill (ROPAB) now to offer a level playing ground for all the political parties in the 2008 elections.
He claimed that one of the minority parties stood the chance of winning the 2008 elections "Due to the harsh economic environment that the NPP had plunged the country into" and that any means by the government to manipulate the 2008 elections would bring unforeseen chaos in Ghana.
Speaking to the GNA in an interview in Tamale Mr Atutiga said there was no law in the country that prevented Ghanaians outside from voting but the crucial issue was how to trace Ghanaians living everywhere in the world to participate, which he said was bound to promote rigging. Mr Atutiga described the situation where High Commissioners and Ambassadors would be made to supervise as unacceptable saying; "They would be players and referees at the same time since they are all government appointees".
"Quiet apart from that the Electoral Commission (EC) representatives, who will supervise the Diaspora votes would all be guests of the Ambassadors and the High Commissioners, who might be influenced," he added.
He said the Bill, if passed into law would delay the mandatory January 7, of swearing in of the President-elect, since there was bound to be law sues challenging the Diaspora ballots.
"Another thing that has to be made clear and clarified is, if some one is challenging a particular Diaspora elections eg in Italy, will that country laws be used or the issue will be handled in Ghana?" he quizzed.
The Regional Chairman said the law was good on paper but practically immature for a country like Ghana and called for a sober reflection on it to ensure that Ghana enjoyed the relative peace and the respect it had gained from the international community. Mr Atutiga said President Kufuor did admit when he presented himself to the Peer Review Mechanism (PRM) in Tunisia that the Electoral Commission (EC), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) were under resourced internally and wonders how those institutions could help the country to achieve on ROPAB.
He said, if the NPP wanted to prove critics, who were thinking either rightly or wrongly that the government was finding lasting means to stay in power forever, then they should forget about ROPAB now and pass it after 2008.
"Even if NPP loses power in 2008, they can still argue for its implementation while in opposition. That is where Ghanaians will believe that they want the law to be passed genuinely but not to use it to enable them to hold on to power forever," he explained.