Ghanaians living in Europe are pushing for the implementation of the country’s Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL) and a Diaspora policy.

Voting In Ghana
Voting In Ghana

This followed meetings between the leadership of the Federation of Ghanaian Diaspora in Europe (FEGHADE) and the country’s Electoral Commission (EC) as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration here.
The group, led by its president and Secretary General, Michael Osei Mensah and Naa Tsotsoo Soyoo, said their mission was to push for the implementation of the ROPAL, Act 699 of 2006, among other issues.
They said FEGHADE, the main coordinating body for all Ghanaian organizations in Europe, would play its part in the shaping of Ghana’s Diaspora Engagement Policy.
Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana states: “Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”
However, Provisional National Council Law (PNDCL) 284 recognized the inconvenience of requiring the government’s employees abroad to come home and live in their towns and villages for six months just to register and then return to vote.
On February 24, 2006, the country’s legislative body passed Act 699, Representation of the People Amendment Act, to extend the right to register to vote without the requirement of residing in a polling station to “a person who is a citizen of Ghana resident outside the republic”.
The Act charged the EC to implement ROPAL in subsequent elections but the electoral body failed to do so in the 2008 and 2012 general elections due to technical and financial constraints.
Among some African countries which have consistently implemented overseas voting include Algeria, Gabon, Guinea, Mozambique, Namibia, Tunisia and South Africa.
Ghana’s EC is however yet to come out officially on when the ROPAL would be implemented. Enditem

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