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General News of Thursday, 16 February 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

It’s time for EC to implement ROPAL in next elections

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has indicated that it is time for the Electoral Commission (EC) to take urgent steps to allow Ghanaians in the diaspora to vote in the next presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for the year 2020.

According to the PPP, the next election is four years away and it provided an ample time frame to devise and test the modalities for the implementation of the Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL), Act 699.

This is contained in a statement signed by the National Chairman of the party, Nii Allotey Brew Hammond, and copied to the President of the Republic of Ghana, the Speaker of Parliament, the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, and all political parties.

ROPAL was passed in 2005 with the authority given to the EC to devise the means of implementation within a reasonable period of time.

Ghanaians in Diaspora

According to the party, some work has been done by the EC in this area and “we believe this can be reviewed now and legislation added where necessary to clear the path for full implementation as anticipated by the law.”

The PPP statement noted that contribution of Ghanaians in the Diaspora to the growth of the country and democracy cannot be overemphasised.

“We believe the least we can do for them is to allow them the opportunity to participate in our democratic process of electing our leaders, especially when the 1992 Constitution and an Act of Parliament confer on these citizens an inalienable right to vote in any election,” it stated.

Finally, the PPP expressed the wish that the EC would bring this matter to the attention of the Nana Akufo-Addo- led New Patriotic Party (NPP) Administration so that the necessary budgeting consideration and allocations would be made for a smooth implementation.