ROPAL deadline looms

Mr Anyenini

Mr Anyenini

The Electoral Commission (EC) has barely 68 more days to comply with the 2017 court order of implementation of the Representation of People Amendment Law (ROPAL).

However, if the commission believes it cannot, it must notify the court 30 days to the expiration of the January 2019 deadline.

If the court is convinced, a new deadline can be handed down as the 2006 law is set to mark 19 years of non-implementation.

That order is to implement a law that allows Ghanaians in the diaspora to vote without paying the price of an international transport fare.
Legal practitioner, Samson Anyenini, pointed out that “the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa has about three months to avoid possible jail over the implementation of a 2017 court order.

“The EC Commissioners should wait, I have no doubt if they do not comply with the orders of the court, they are likely to face prison terms or a fine because the court must be exasperated by feet-dragging.

“When Mrs Mensa was appointed in July 2018, got ready to start the work, she formed a committee to examine the implementation of possibly the most difficult electoral task to date but turns out, the committee is about to do a ‘difficult work’ already done twice.

“There is a 2011 report that details a ‘comprehensive roadmap’ for ROPAL implementation and another report done by a consultant to the EC that ‘virtually’ recommended a similar roadmap,” Mr Anyenini noted.

Justifying the latest EC committee on ROPAL, Mrs Mensa, said the 2011 committee’s work was to register Ghanaians working at embassies or on scholarships who are allowed to vote.

“The 2018 committee will mull over whether or not it will be possible to implement ROPAL in the next general election in 2020.

But Mr Anyenini indicated that “her explanation is a sign the EC does not read its own reports and laws since the 2011 work had nothing to do with registering anybody, that committee which included then EC commissioner Safo Kantanka, Hudu Yahya and Dan Botwe, drew a comprehensive roadmap for implementation.

“Jean Mensa’s explanation, I am sorry to say was complete untruth because I’ve obtained the Supreme Court judgment ordering the implementation, ROPAL was passed by Parliament in February 2006 after very extensive consultations in Ghana and abroad,” he stressed.

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