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Politics of Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Source: Today Newspaper

PPP promises to implement ROPA

Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has assured Ghanaians in the Diaspora that it will ensure the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment (ROPA) Act to allow all eligible Ghanaians abroad to vote.

According to the PPP, it cannot understand why Ghanaians in abroad cannot vote in national elections whereas the 1992 Constitution allows every Ghanaian who is eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind to vote.

And though the PPP said this right has been duly effected since 1992, the fact remains that citizens who live abroad have not benefited from such right except only citizens (and their spouses) employed at post outside Ghana in the service of the republic, the United Nations or any other international organisation who are entitled to vote outside Ghana.

Describing it as “absolutely disproportionate,” the PPP explained that, that led to the repeal of Section 8(1) of PNDC Law 284, with section 1(b) of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2006 (Act 699) to give voting rights to every eligible Ghanaian whether home or abroad.

PPP in an interview with Today yesterday quoted Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution to buttress its point which states, “every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”

The party’s Second Vice-Chairperson, Berlinda Bulley, and the National Secretary, Murtala Mohammed, were speaking on their party’s Ten-Point Agenda.
The interview was on the PPP’s commitment to implement ROPA which is number nine on its Ten-Point Agenda.

They noted that contributions from Ghanaians in the Diaspora to the country’s economy were enormous.

The PPP’s national executives claimed that ROPA will help majority of Ghanaians living abroad to come home and invest since, according to them, it would make them feel part of the governance of the country.

Although they could not tell how much the Diasporans contribute to the country’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP), they said their remittances alone have helped the economy.

“Some of us are beneficiaries of these remittances, otherwise we wouldn’t have been where we are now,” the PPP’s chief scribe said.

Ms. Bulley was optimistic that the implantation of ROPA will also allow Ghanaians with fine brains in the areas of medicine, engineering, journalism, law among other professions to come home and contribute to the economy.

She revealed that the PPP will set up a ROPA Secretariat to ensure that the needs of Diasporans are taken care of.

It would be recalled that the erstwhile Kufuor administration met stiff opposition by the then minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) during the passage of the ROPA Bill.

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