The NDC Professionals Forum has kicked against what it says is a dangerous move by President Akufo Addo to transfer the Electoral Commission’s department on the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Law (ROPAL) to the Office of the President.
This the professional group, most of them staying in the diaspora believes has the capacity of degenerating into chaos. “It’s really appalling to note that the NPP administration has moved the ROPAL department from the Electoral Commission to the Jubilee house, for reasons best known to themselves”; Director of International Relations of the forum Arnold Appiah said in an interview with newsmen at his base in the United States.
The ROPAL Act (699), which provides the opportunity for
Ghanaians, living abroad, to participate in general election in Ghana, was
passed by Parliament in 2005. However, twelve years down the line, the
Electoral Commission has not been able to implement it for obvious reasons.
President Akufo Addo during the Homecoming Summit in Accra last year, gave the assurance that government is determined to provide the needed support to enable the EC to start the implementation processes towards ROPAL. But the pro-NDC group from their checks have realized that the president had moved the ROPAL department at the EC to the Jubilee House.
Arnold Appiah believes it is clear that the NPP government, looking at its abysmal performance is trying to manipulate the system to their advantage and that the NDC would also meet them squarely in any capacity.
According to him, the NDC Professionals Forum welcomes the idea of ROPAL and that its diaspora wing is ready and willing to partner the EC for the implementation of the law. “As professionals with highly skilled background such as university lecturers, researchers, doctors, IT engineers, lawyers etc. belonging to the largest opposition party, we are mobilizing our supporters in all parts of the world to take part in the 2020 elections. We need our people to vote and vote massively for the NDC to rescue Ghanaians from the most corrupt, insensitive, incompetent and clueless government in Ghana’s history”; he said.
He further assured that the group would wish to engage the EC on the modalities for implementing the law. “What we’ll seek is transparency, data integrity and assess to allow Ghanaians to vote wherever they are in the world. Another major factor we’d like to emphasis on is access to the polling center. Whatever means they may intend to deploy must ensure no disenfranchisement”, he concluded.
The group is also calling on the National Peace Council and civil society groups to come out and condemn the move by the president.
By: Joe Bright Nyarko
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.