The Chairman of the Progressive Alliance Movement, Dr Kofi Boateng has warned the Electoral Commission that it would place an injunction on the upcoming December elections should it fail to implement the Representation of People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA).
During an interview on Starr Today on Thursday, Dr Boateng lamented that Ghanaian citizens abroad have had their voting rights violated for a very long time over the failure of the EC to implement ROPAA.
“We have been disenfranchised not since 2006 but since the constitution came into being in 1992,” Dr Boateng said adding “the elections will happen on December 7, 2020, so one option available to us is to put an injunction on it because you can’t disenfranchise a group who have been given the franchise by the constitution.”
He made these comments following the EC’s stand that it cannot implement the year’s elections.
The EC however indicates that, Parliament was yet to act on the Constitutional Instrument (CI) that would be clear on the the modalities and guidelines to implement ROPAA which the EC submitted in June this year.
The Deputy Commissioner of the EC in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, explained to the Daily Graphic in an interview that the CI would provide the framework and modalities on how Ghanaians abroad could register as voters and also vote.
He indicated that the EC had done its part by submitting the CI to Parliament and the rest was up to parliament to decide.
Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution states:
“Every citizen of Ghana of 18 years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”
However, the Representation of the People Law, 1992 (PNDCL 284), the law that operationalised the constitutional provision as stipulated in Article 42, did not allow Ghanaians living abroad to register and also vote from their locations, even though Article 42 does not state that only Ghanaians in Ghana could enjoy that right.
Parliament, in 2006, therefore, passed ROPAA (Act 699) as an amendment to PNDCL 284 to cure that defect.
However, its implementation was not carried through by the EC.