Ghana not ready to implement ROPAA ahead of election 2020 – Okudzeto Ablakwa

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu has said Ghana is not ready to enforce the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA), 2006 (Act 699), which gives Ghanaians in the Diaspora the right to vote from abroad.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu

According to him, ROPAA should be conducted in all the 193 countries recognised by the United Nations, instead of conducting the election in only 64 nations where Ghana had established embassies.

Five Ghanaians resident in the United States sued the Electoral Commission (EC) over the non-implementation of the law.

The applicants want the Human Rights High Court to declare that the failure by the EC to operationalise the Act since it became law on February 24, 2006, is a breach of their fundamental rights under the various laws (Articles 42 and 33 (5), (Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, etc.) and legal instruments.The five – Kofi A. Boateng, Agyenim Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah and Christiana Sillim also want the court to declare that the refusal to uphold full operationalization of the Act by the Attorney General (AG) – who is also a party to the suit – since it became law, is a breach of the said various laws and legal instruments.


The applicants, among others, also seek a declaration that their "right to vote and entitlement to be re-registered as voters for the purpose of public elections and referenda" in the light of Act 699 have been violated.

But Okudzeto Ablakwa who doubles as the ranking member on foreign affairs said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a political party wants a stakeholders' consultation by involving the political parties, civil society organisations and the EC to participate in drawing up a roadmap towards the implementation of ROPAA.

"In my honest view, I think Ghana is not ready for ROPAA implementation in 2020 election, but I support the principle, and I’m in solidarity with Ghanaians in the Diaspora and everywhere...

"I want a peaceful election determined by Ghanaians in Ghana and the limited ones who have been voting from the Diaspora – student on scholarship, those working in the United Nations institutions and workers in Ghana’s Embassies," he said.


The MP also cautioned the EC not to rush in implementing the ROPAA because the election has the potential of plunging the country into anarchy.


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