Feature Article of Thursday, 30 August 2012
Columnist: Amoako, Maxwell
Dr. Afari Gyan failed to implement ROPAL when it was rolled out and passed into law in 2006, ROPAL is still sitting in the Law Books of Ghana gathering dust. Through the passage of ROPAL he had assigned some many irrelevant elucidations why it could not be implemented. Conspicuous amongst them was lack of funds. In 6 years he has still not see the astuteness in locating capital for its execution.
ROPAL was passed in 2006 to enfranchise Ghanaians living abroad in line with Article 42 of the Constitution, Article 42 says "every citizen of Ghana, of 18 years of age or above and of a sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda". Now, this same man has seen a crucial need to craft 45 new constituencies, these means 45 new parliamentary positions. Where is he getting the funding from ?—Why could he not do so in six years for ROPAL ? What will be the cost of absorbing these 45 new parliamentarians? Does the country really need 275 legislatures?, Already Parliamentarians have been agitating for better remuneration which government has been unable to accommodate. So what is the sense in adding more? This goes to justify H.E Ex -President Kuffour’s argument that there is no wisdom in the rush to create new constituencies especially when it is barely three months to elections. What are the motives of this NDC installed Electoral Commissioner? With the current insurmountable economic difficulties e.g. schools under trees, dilapidated hospitals, lack of jobs to school graduates, shortage of accommodation, and the fact some cannot afford three square meal a day, stares a curiosity why this decision at this time. To be candid Ghana does not need two hundred and seventy –five (275) parliamentarians. It is a waste and extra encumbrances on tax payers and national resources. All hope must not be lost, the good people of Ghana whatever their political affiliations must unite behind James Amarh Martey and his lawyer Former Attorney General, Ayikoi Otoo who is representing the plaintiff in petitioning the Supreme Court to declare as null and void the electoral areas backing the creation of the new constituencies. The Constitutional Instrument (CI73) placed before Parliament by the EC clearly indicated that the creation of the constituencies is partly based on the newly created districts and electoral areas.
Mr. Ayikoi argued that the Local Government Minister overstepped his powers guaranteed by the constitution when he laid before Parliament Legislative Instrument 1983 creating the districts and the electoral areas. This means the creation 45 new constituencies is not only exorbitant and superfluous but also illegal. Ghana must rise up to live by the rule of law and order, justice for all, for it is only through this shall she see peace, tranquility, joy and happiness. Dr Afari Gyan must not be allowed to cause illegalities as demonstrated by ROPAL and the Constitutional Instrument (C173). Ghana must stand up to the task to stop this hypocrisy of this electoral commissioner.