The Ghana Federation of Disabilities Organisations (GFD) is encouraging all persons with disabilities who have registered for the election 2020 to effectively participate in the voting exercise today.
The 1992 Constitution of the republic of Ghana has given the right to every Ghanaian citizen of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind to register as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.
Election 2020 is taking place today as most Ghanaians are aware. According to the Electoral Commission, voting is taking place between 7am and 5pm.
Globally, political participation among persons with disabilities has not been very satisfactory over the years, even though there have been existence of laws and conventions seeking to improve the situation.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in article 29 enjoins nation who, are state parties like Ghana, to ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected. Section 39 of the Ghana Persons with Disabilities Act (Act715, 2006) requires the Electoral Commission to ensure that facilities are made available for the participation of persons with disability in the election.
On the strength of this, the disability movement has adequately engaged the Electoral Commission to ensure that barriers are removed for persons with disabilities to effectively participate in the elections. In effect, persons with disabilities would be given preferential treatment at the polling station, tactile ballot jacket and papers as well as accessible support would be provided for persons with disabilities who may need them.
The Federation in collaboration with National Council on Persons with Disabilities has obtained accreditation and deployed about 160 persons with and without disabilities as observers across the country. The purpose is to assess the level of inclusion and participation of person with disabilities in the voting process.
As voting is every qualified citizen’s right, GFD is encouraging all registered persons with disabilities to come out and exercise their franchise today.
National President, GFD