The acting General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Law (ROPAL) 2006 (Act 699) is long overdue.
According to John Boadu, a recent ruling by an Accra High Court directing the Electoral Commission (EC) to operationalise the law in 2020 following a suit by some five Ghanaians living abroad could not have come at a better time.
The law was passed in 2006 but past governments have given several excuses for the delay in implementation.
John Boadu, who is also the National organizer of the party, was speaking Monday evening on Adom FM’s current affairs programme, Burning Issues hosted by Afia Pokua on the ruling by the court.
“The implementation is long overdue because countries such as Mali and others are already implementing such laws, why not Ghana?” John Boadu questions.
On Monday December 18, 2017, the Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court ordered the Electoral Commission (EC ) to implement the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA)2006 (Act 699), which gives Ghanaians in the diaspora the right to vote, within 12 months.
Per the court order, the EC must operationalise the Act by laying a constitutional provision (CI) before Parliament to set out the modalities for the implementation of the Act.
In a judgment delivered Monday, the Court presided over by Mr Justice Anthony Yeboah, said the12 months grace period starts from January 1, 2018, and it is to enable Ghanaians in the diaspora to vote in the 2020 elections.
Already, Ghanaians living abroad led by the US-based advocacy group, Progressive Alliance Movement (PAM), has welcomed the court decision to allow them to vote in the 2020 general elections.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has welcomed the decision by the court.
Meanwhile, the National Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on Ghanaians living abroad to reconsider their call for ROPAL.
According to Kofi Adam, rolling out ROPAL will be a drain on Ghana’s limited resources.
John Boadu has admonished the EC to collaborate with the political parties and other major election stakeholders for the easy implementation of ROPAL.
“The EC should lead the way because they have already conducted series of research as far as the implementation of the law is concerned” John Boadu stressed.