The Electoral Commission (EC) Representative of the Peoples’ Amendment Act (ROPAA) Consultative and Implementation Committee has engaged stakeholders from the Diaspora to brainstorm on the roadmap to operationalise the law.
The Diaspora Community is ready to support and play vital role for ROPAA’s implementation and through its association will work out and present tangible documents towards implementation of the law.
In complying with the obligation imposed by the Act, the commission has set up a sub-committee to make recommendations on how best the ROPAA can be implemented and the Act charges the commission with the responsibility to make regulations for the implementation of the ROPAA.
Dr Akwasi Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, who led the delegation, assured the committee and the EC the Diaspora community was ready to support and play a vital role for ROPAA’s implementation and through its association would work out and present tangible documents towards implementation of the law.
Dr Bossman Asare, Deputy Chairman in charge of Corporate Services of the EC, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Committee, explained that the law mandated the citizenry registered as voters while resident abroad and outside the jurisdiction of the country.
“The law also mandates Voter’s Identity Cards to enable them to vote in public elections and referenda be issued to them while resident abroad and outside the jurisdiction of the country at the time of such elections,” he noted.
Responding to the issues raised, Reverend Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, a member of the ROPAA Implementation Committee, indicated that the committee was conscious people abroad who held themselves out as Ghanaians but who were not Ghanaian citizens.
“On the authenticity of resident permit, since registration officials may not be able to determine of resident permit, the committee has recommended the EC contacts appropriate authorities to provide the commission with list of Ghanaians granted resident permit,” he stressed.
It would be recalled following advocacy by interest groups, a bill was introduced in Parliament in 2006, the Representative of the People Amendment Bill (ROPAB) to amend the Representation of the People’s Law of 1992, PDNC Law 284.
The ROPAA, Act 2006, ACT 699 was passed to extend the right of the citzenry to participate in voting in public elections and referenda to Ghanaians living outside Ghana. –GNA