Daasebre Dr Amankona Diawuo, the Paramount Chief of Berekum in the Bono Region, has challenged the committee constituted by the Electoral Commission (EC) to facilitate the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) to ensure due diligence towards its implementation in the supreme interest of the nation.
He pointed out that though Parliament passed the Act 699 in 2006 to extend the right to vote in public elections and referenda to Ghanaian citizens resident abroad, its implementation had delayed due to some challenges.
Daasebre Dr Diawuo threw the challenge at a regional stakeholders’ engagement meeting on the ROPAA held in Sunyani and was organised by the EC for stakeholders in the electoral processes selected from Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.
The nine-member committee is currently undertaking a nationwide stakeholders’ engagement to sensitise the citizenry on ROPAA, collate their views and opinions to facilitate smooth implementation of the Act.
Daasebre Dr Diawuo noted that ROPAA was laudable and needed to be implemented to consolidate the gains of democratic governance saying that “the nationwide consultation on the ROPAA is very necessary and I urge Ghanaians to participate and share ideas that can make its implementation successful.
“I also recommend that the committee must not rush in the implementation of the Act but ensure that all eligible Ghanaian voters abroad will register with Ghana embassies and high commissions for them to participate in any general election.
“The Act charged on the EC with the responsibility to make regulations for the implementation of ROPAA and in complying with the obligation of the Act, the commission set up a sub-committee to make recommendations on how best it can be implemented,” Daasebre Dr Diawuo observed.
Dr Bossman Asare, a deputy chairperson of the EC and the chairman of the committee, indicated that though the ROPAA was confronted with several challenges which had delayed its implementation process, the engagements would bring out recommendations that would facilitate its successful implementation.
“Similar engagements have already been held in the Western, Central, Eastern, Volta and Ashanti Regions, with outcomes and recommendations so far has been impressive,” he said.
Dr Benjamin Kumbour, a former Minister of Defence and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) representative on the committee took the participants through processes in the implementation of the ROPAA. –GNA