The Electoral Commission (EC) on Monday took a step towards operationalization of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) 2006 (Act 699), which gives Ghanaians in the Diaspora the right to vote.
In fulfilment of its Constitutional mandate to implement the law, the EC has started engaging stakeholders in the Western Region to solicit for their views.
A five-member EC ROPAA Committee team led by Dr Bossman Eric Asare, EC Deputy Chairman, in-charge of Corporate Services, also include, Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Reverend Dr Ernest Adu Gyamfi of the National Peace Council.
Others are: Professor Ransford Gyampo of the University of Ghana and Mr Kofi Akpaloo, representing the other minority parties.
Representatives from the political parties, Security Services, Civil Society Organizations, Religious Leaders, People with Disability, Media Practitioners, and a cross section of the public are discussing issues on requirements for registration, authentication of resident permit, and registration centres and polling stations.
Other issues being discussed includes appointment of registration and election officials, mode and frequency of registration, designs of registration forms, challenges at registration, handling registration challenges, petition against decisions of the overseas registration review committees and exhibition of the voters register.
The Western region participants are also discussing objection to inclusion of names on the register, handling objections, supply of copies of register of overseas voters to political parties, registration and election offences, and punishment for breaches of registration and election rules.
The ROPAA committee is also discussing with participants, which elections ROPAA should be applied, transfer of votes, and proxy voting.
Dr Asare, who is the ROPAA Committee chairman, explained that the Act charges the EC with the responsibility to make regulations for the implementation of the ROPAA.
“In complying with the obligation imposed by the Act, the Commission set up a sub-committee to make recommendations on how best the ROPAA can be implemented,” he said.
Political parties who participated included the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Party (NDC), Convention Peoples Party (CPP), Progressive Peoples Party (PPP), and Peoples National Convention (PNC)