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23.03.2006 General News

Concerned Ghanaians will continue to resist ROPAL


Accra, March 23 GNA - Concerned Ghanaians (CG), a group comprising the Minority political parties protesting against the Representation of the People Amendment Law (ROPAL) on Thursday said they would continue to mount resistance against what they described as the ill informed Law. The group noted: "We will continue our campaign against the Law. We are setting in for the long haul. Until now, we have focused on public protests in Accra in the hope that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would respond to obvious public sentiment."

Mr Mahama Ayariga, a member of the group, addressing a press conference in Accra said the next phase of the struggle would focus on constituency building and training vis-avis public protest events, meet with workers, civil society organizations, organized labour and students.

He stressed "We must prepare ourselves to deal with any attempt at pursuing subsequent stages of the NPP's agenda to dangerously secure the implementation of ROPAL.

Mr Ayariga noted that the group completely rejected calls of the faint hearted that the struggle should be abandoned and participate in the fraud being perpetrated by the NPP on the citizens of Ghana. "Our opposition to ROPAL remains resolute and unshakable. We will continue to build resistance to the new ill informed electoral system." He said steps would also be taken to explain to citizens the dangers the implementation of the ROPAL presented saying whenever the Electoral Commission (EC) was compelled to implement the Act, citizens must be able to assert their authority over the electoral process and maintain peace.

"We must be ready to checkmate NPP attempt to use engineered loopholes in the system to cheat, it is only by our collective vigilance that we can prevent the NPP from undermining our electoral system and preserve our democracy."

Mr Ayariga, who is also MP for Bawku Central, said the Law did not just become law because Parliament had passed it and the President assented to it adding the legitimacy of laws depended on their social values.

He cited Re Akoto and the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) case in the 1960s where it asserted that citizens must oppose any law such as ROPAL, which was inimical to their well-being.

He said another issue that the NPP had failed to address squarely was the danger inherent in ROPAL, adding that without requisite study, planning and consensus building the whole issue could lead to chaos, conflict and violence.