Allotey Jacobs calls for political consensus on ROPAA

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A decision that will favour all political parties is the only way for the smooth implementation of the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA).

This is according to former Central Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Bernard Allotey Jacobs.

His comment is in reaction to the Electoral Commission’s (EC) appeal for an extension of time to implement ROPAA.

The Commission has, therefore, filed an affidavit at the Supreme Court for an extension of the time of implementation by 12 more months to be able to operationalise the Act.

In the affidavit to the Court deposed by the Chairperson of the Commission, Jean Mensa, the Commission said it has not been able to kick into effect Act 699 because the then Charlotte Osei-led EC had management problems.

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Speaking on Adom FM’s morning show Dwaso Nsem Tuesday, Allotey Jacobs said the extension was in the right direction.

He explained that all political parties have issues with the modalities for implementing the ROPAA in the 2020 general elections.

Allotey Jacobs maintained that the NDC will resist any attempt by the EC to exclude some Ghanaians from voting in the 2020 elections.

“There are Ghanaians in Togo, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire and many other countries and not the USA and UK only hence the EC must ensure all these people are covered in ROPAA,” he added.

The only way out, the NDC man stressed is for the EC to come out with a mechanism to satisfy all political parties before implementation is rolled out.

“What is important is the consensus in ROPAA’s implementation so that no political party will feel disadvantaged” he added.

Ghana’s democracy will be deepened should the implementation of the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA), 2006 (Act 699) which gives Ghanaians in the Diaspora the right to vote from abroad, become successful.

In December 2018, the Electoral Commission inaugurated a nine-member committee to oversee the implementation of ROPAA.

The Committee which is headed by Deputy EC chair, Dr Eric Bossman Asare will engage with political parties and other groups and see to a successful implementation of the over a decade old law.

Even though it was passed into law by Parliament some 12 years ago, the EC could not see to its implementation, citing the unavailability of the required resources as its reason for failing to adhere to the law.

It had to take a suit and an order by the Accra High Court for the EC to begin the process of implementation.

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