The Head of European Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Edward Gyampo wants the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA) to be implemented only if there is a consensus among political parties.
According to him, this will avert the numerous challenges which are likely to cause electoral conflicts within the implementation process.
Professor Gyampo who is also a member of the ROPAA Implementation Committee made these remarks in a Citi News interview in Takoradi during a stakeholder engagement in the Western Region organised by the ROPAA Committee.
“First of all, we should all agree whether we want ROPAA or not. There shouldn’t be like the High Court has given marching orders to the Electoral Commission so ROPAA must necessarily become law.”
He said there is a reason why ROPAA has delayed even though it was passed into law in 2006 and that urged Ghanaians to hasten slowly in order to have all challenges with regards to the implementation of the law ironed out.
“My view is that so long as the political parties fail to agree on the implementation of ROPAA we should hasten slowly in implementing a law that we know can bring about confusion and implosion.”
Prof. Gyampo said there’s a need for stakeholders to brainstorm and fine-tune the law so that some of the practical challenges are ironed out.
“We must be careful so that we look at some of the challenges with the implementation and iron them out and make sure there is a consensus among the key political actors,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Deputy EC Chairman who is also the Chairman of the ROPAA Implementation Committee, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare said the EC will adopt whatever the outcome of the stakeholders’ engagement brings.
A former Presiding Member for the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assemblyman, Yusif Yamson who participated in the stakeholder engagement argued that adequate answers have not been provided for addressing breaches of electoral and registration breaches with the ROPAA, hence the implementation must be halted.
Representatives of political parties, civil societies and the religious who were present called for a gradual implementation of the ROPAA.
The ROPAA law seeks to empower eligible Ghanaians abroad to vote in national elections.
Successive governments have failed to ensure its implementation, since its passage in 2006.
An Accra High Court presided over by His Lordship Justice Anthony K. Yeboah, in December 2017 ordered the Electoral Commission to implement within 12 months, the ROPAA law.
But the EC failed to meet the deadline and further pleaded for 12 more months to implement the law.
A nine-member Committee chaired by Dr Bossman Eric Asare, EC Deputy Chairman, in-charge of Corporate Services was subsequently formed to recommend a roadmap for the implementation of the law.
The Committee began a comprehensive regional consultation programme with local stakeholders and civil society organisations today, Monday in the Western Region.
The Committee has Mr Christian Owusu-Parry, EC Director of Administration as its Secretary.
By: Akwasi Agyei Annim | citinewsroom.com | Ghana