Representatives of political parties on the Representative of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) Committee have vehemently opposed funding implementation of external voting for Ghanaians living abroad.
This is because such financial burden will be transferred to party members since political parties are made up of members, to task parties to fund ROPAA implementation means the cost will be borne by the members.
The representatives explained that political parties already incurred cost and if the decision is taken for implementation of ROPAA, the parties will have to send personnel overseas to train and build capacity in electoral processes at a cost.
They noted that aspects of the political parties’ law was unfair to smaller parities since the bigger parties, who are already well resourced get refund of filing fees after elections whilst smaller parties, who struggle through elections lose filing fees and stressed that the law must be fair to all parties.
The representatives were John Boadu, General Secretary of New Patriotic Party (NPP), Afriyie Ankrah, Director of Elections of National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Kofi Akpaloo, Founder and Leader of Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), representing minority parties without representation in Parliament, opposed the suggestion.
This was when Dr Awudu Gumah, Head, Planning, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Gender Development Centre, postulated that political parties should fund the implementation of external voting for Ghanaians living abroad.
Dr Gumah stated at Dakar, Senegal at a Representative of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) 2006 (Act 699) consultation and the ROPAA Committee in fulfillment of its mandate, is in Dakar, Senegal, to engage with strategic institutions and the Ghanaian community.
The meeting, which was chaired by Gloria Poku, Ghana’s Ambassador to Senegal, was attended by Ghanaians in Senegal and The Gambia, representatives of political parties, civil society organisations and officials from the embassy.
Dr Gumah explained that “the parties should be innovative in fund raising and mobilisation of resources, as the state alone should not foot cost of ROPAA implementation, which is considered expensive,” and suggested “the diaspora community should be encouraged to contribute towards ROPAA implementation.”
Dr Bossman Asare, the Deputy Chairman, in charge of Corporate Services, Electoral Commission, who doubles as Chairman of ROPAA Committee, indicated that in parliamentary elections, any party that got more than 12 per cent of vote, would have its filing fees refunded. –GNA