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31.01.2020 Diaspora (USA)

The Diaspora Progressive Movement in USA talks about ROPAA

By Diaspora Progressive Movement
The Diaspora Progressive Movement in USA talks about ROPAA
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We sighted a news item on Joy News in which a Deputy Commissioner at the Electoral Commission talking about the Commission’s readiness to implement ROPAA in the 2020 elections. He stated that ROPAA is a Ghanaian thing and early this year, they will start registering Ghanaians living abroad. We welcome this decision by the commission and we on our part, will do everything possible for ROPAA to succeed.

We are however troubled by another publication in the media which stated that the commission has targeted sixty (60) countries in abroad where ROPAA will be implemented. We think this is not how the Supreme Court ruled on the implementation of ROPAA. The Supreme Court ruled that every Ghanaian living abroad should have the opportunity to vote.

When Dr. Bossman Asare and his ROPAA team visited Washington DC area in USA, this group made it very clear to the team that we associate ourselves with the Supreme Court ruling and that every Ghanaian living abroad should have the opportunity to vote. We are happy to announce that Dr. Bossman Asare agreed to our position and assured us that they will consider it into the final document, which will be presented to Parliament for approval.

A Director of the EC, who was part of the team rather talked about the cost associated with ROPAA if he has to agree with our position and the Supreme Court. We are aware the Electoral Commission (EC) is preparing for a new voters register at a cost of almost $900 million. If the minority parties talk about the cost, the EC and the NPP defend the cost by saying “democracy is expensive”

If democracy is expensive and so the EC can spend almost $900 million to do a new register, our group is making the same argument that democracy is expensive, so every Ghanaian living abroad should have the opportunity to vote.

Ladies and gentlemen, the race for the old voters register to be maintained is what everybody is talking about. That has given the EC all the space to pull a surprise with ROPAA. We just want to let the EC know that this group is wide awake to the implementation of ROPAA. It is that every Ghanaian living abroad votes in 2020, or those who are eager to vote buy their ticket and fly down.

If the EC thinks it has received enough resistance to this new voters register, it should try to register Ghanaians in only 60 countries for ROPAA, and the international heat on it may force it to, for the first time, postpone the date for the 2020 elections. To emphasize the reason for this press conference, we want to remind the EC that our position and the ruling of the Supreme Court are very clear: every Ghanaian living abroad should have the opportunity to vote in the 2020 elections, nothing more, nothing less.

This is the first of our series to talk about ROPAA. In other words, we will come again.

Lawrence Appiah-Osei

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