Accra, Nov 6, GNA - The Ghanaians Community in New York, United States have commended the Electoral Commission for taken steps to further consults stakeholders as part of processes to operationalise the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA).
The implementation of ROPAA, required that the Commission put together regulations, in the form of a Constitutional Instrument (CI), to regulate the registration of voters and the conduct of elections in foreign countries.
At the end, Ghanaian citizens in the diaspora would have the opportunity to exercise their franchise- a solution that bridge the gap created by People National Defense Council Law 284 that did not make provision for diaspora to vote.
Speaking at a forum organized as part of efforts to further engage Ghanaians on best practices on the implementation of voting by citizens abroad, Dr Bossman Asare, Chairman of the ROPAA Committee recounted that the committee had undertaken regional tours in Ghana and had visited Senegal.
According to him, the Commission had to prepare a Constitutional Instrument based on the inputs obtained from the extensive consultations currently underway and present it to Parliament by December, 2019.
He therefore asked participants to make non-partisan, meaningful and practical contributions that will further advance Ghana's efforts at democratic development.
Dr. Kofi Boateng, Chairman of the Progressive Alliance Movement Inc. USA, expressed the hope that all qualified Ghanaians would have the opportunity to exercise their franchise in the not too distant future, unlike the past where very few Ghanaians abroad took decisions for all.
Issues discussed at the forum ranged from eligibility, siting of polling stations and credibility of election officials among others.
On the issue of residency, some of the participants argued that, based on the Right to vote as enshrined in Article 42 of the Constitution, it would be unfair to deny any Ghanaian citizen the Right to register and vote irrespective of where they reside.
Professor Samuel Kojo Amoako, the Consul General of Ghana's mission in New York, appealed to Ghanaians abroad to cooperate with the EC to make the implementation of ROPAA successful.
An eight Member team led by Dr. Bossman Asare included Mr. Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairman Operations, Mr. Christian Owusu- Parry, Secretary to the Committee, Mrs. Sylvia Annoh, Acting director Communications of the EC, Dr. Kojo Asante of the Ghana 's Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Rev. Dr. Ernest Adu- Gyamfi of the National Peace Council and President of the Ghana Baptist Convention, Mr. Evans Nimako of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Mr Kofi Akpaloo of the Liberal Democratic Party ( LPG)
As part of the tour, the team is expected to visit Woodbridge (Virginia) , Worcester,(Massachusetts) Washington D.C, Columbus(Ohio) and Silverspring (Maryland)