20.02.2006 General News

More support for Anti-ROPAB demonstration

20.02.2006 LISTEN

Accra, Feb. 20, GNA - The Socialist Forum and National Reform Party (NRP) on Monday threw their weight behind a demonstration planned by the Concerned Ghanaians against the passage of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill (ROPAB).

They have, therefore, urged their supporters to take part in the march, the second in a series of demonstrations, to be held in Accra on Tuesday.

The Socialist Forum in a statement signed by Mr Benjamin Mensah for the National Coordinating Committee, said: "We fully endorse the position taken by organised labour that the electoral laws of Ghana need to be done with the full participation of and in consultation with all stakeholders, especially the political parties."

The Forum said it their view, the rush with which the Bill was being pushed through suggested other motives and called for the immediate withdrawal of the ROPAB.

The statement by the NRP signed by Mr Kyeretwei Opoku, General Secretary, said their members should join the demonstration to send a clear message to the Government and Parliament that the people were opposed to and would not tolerate ROPAB.

The Party said there was the need to rethink the national electoral system to broaden and deepen participation in national decision-making. It said the constitution of a well balanced Presidential Commission to which all shades of opinion would have access would provide space for a constructive and non-partisan public rethink of the electoral system. "We entirely reject the narrow approach which has led to the current ROPAB," the NRP said ROPAB threatened to undermine the integrity of the electoral system.

The NDC has already urged its supporters to join the march. Thousands of Ghanaians last Tuesday poured onto the streets in Accra to either take a glimpse at or participate in a demonstration against the passage of the Representation of the People Amendment Bill (ROPAB).

The peaceful protest march was to back their request for the withdrawal of the Bill, currently before Parliament. The more than six hours' march was organized by Concerned Ghanaians, a pressure group, with support from the Minority parties including the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Eagle Party, the National Reform Party (NRP), the Great Consolidated People's Party and some civil society groups.

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