‘NPP Committed To ROPAA’

John Boadu

The
New Patriotic Party (NPP) has reaffirmed its commitment to implementing the
controversial Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA).

General
Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, told journalists on Wednesday in Accra that
the ruling party has the political will to implement ROPAA, but has been facing
difficulties in doing so since 2006 due to opposition from the National
Democratic Congress (NDC).

Speaking
on the sidelines of a consultative meeting with the media organized by the
ROPAA Implementation Committee under the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr. Boadu
recounted the numerous demonstrations organized by the NDC in 2006 when the
ROPAA Law was passed.

In
2011, some Ghanaians in the Diaspora filed a suit against the EC at an Accra
High Court (Human Rights Division) for delaying the implementation of ROPAA.

He
disclosed that the implementation of ROPAA, which was introduced during the
erstwhile Kufuor administration, was paramount.

That,
he said, was because the NPP government believes that Ghanaians abroad are
critical to the running of Ghana, especially its economy.

He,
however, warned that in implementing ROPAA, care be must taken in order not to violate
the country’s laws or adopt stringent measures that would make it difficult for
Ghanaians in the Diaspora to vote.

According
to Mr. Boadu, since Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, a former Defence Minister under the
erstwhile NDC government, is a member of the implementation committee, there
was hope ‘truthful’ discussions would be held to find ways of implementing the
law.

Dr.
Kunbuor, who chaired the engagement with the media, said the committee shall
hold extensive consultative meeting with the various stakeholders across the
country.

The
consultative meeting with the media was aimed at getting the inputs of
journalists into the document for the implementation of ROPAA.

He
said the committee would engage with chiefs, civil societies, political
parties, among others.

Issues
to be discussed during the consultative meetings are the authenticity of
documents for registering to vote outside Ghana, which include valid passport,
resident permit, proof of dual citizenship, as well as the voter population.

The Committee, he said, is made up nine members, including representatives of NPP, NDC and other parties, as well as civil society groups.

By Melvin Tarlue & Mohammed Brimah

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