Accra, Feb. 23, GNA - Mr P.C. Appiah-Ofori, NPP MP for Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa, on Thursday said the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, which has been passed by Parliament, should not be implemented before the 2008 elections.
He said, even though, the passage of the Bill was a constitutional right, he was against the immediate implementation of it due to the acrimony and controversy that it had generated in the country. "The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is saying that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) wants to use the 'Diaspora Vote' to rig the elections and I want this misconception to be erased by not implementing the ROPAB for the 2008 elections."
Mr Appiah-Ofori, who was speaking to the GNA, said the Bill could be implemented after the 2008 elections to assure Ghanaians that it was not passed purposely for the 2008 elections.
"What the NPP must do is to work hard and win more sympathisers before the next elections.
"If we are able to seek the welfare of Ghanaians they would definitely vote for us and so this is the time for hard work." Mr Appiah-Ofori said the cost involved in implementing the ROPAB for the elections is very high and suggested that such funds could be channelled to other sectors of the economy, which are cash-strapped. Mr Samuel Asamoah-Boateng, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, praised the passage of the Bill and said: "Today is a historic day for all Ghanaians."
He said the passage of the Bill demonstrated the political promise that NPP made to Ghanaians as well as the granting of their constitutional rights.
"It is the Majority's view, which rules the country and since we have been mandated by the majority of Ghanaians to lead them for the next four years, we would always ensure that their needs and wishes are met."
Mr Asamoah-Boateng urged the Minority to return to Parliament for serious business since there were other important national issues to be discussed.
"We are not only discussing ROPAB in the House so they should return or else their constituents would not be happy with them." "Why should they boycott Parliament when their constituents have put them there to seek their welfare?"