The Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA) Committee has arrived in the United States of America (USA) to commence a nine day consultations with stakeholders.
They will learn about best practices and make recommendations on how the Act could be successfully implemented.
Mrs Genevieve Akpaloo, Head of Chancery at the Ghana Embassy welcomed the committee on behalf of the Ambassador.
Briefing the staff of the Embassy on the visit, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, the Chairman of the ROPAA Committee and Deputy Chairman in charge of Operations at the Electoral Commission (EC) said the team would solicit information to enable the EC compile a comprehensive report to operationlise the law.
He said as part of the visit they would meet with Ghanaian groups and relevant stakeholders in Worcester, New York, Washington, Virginia and Ohio as well as the Federal Elections Authority in Washington DC.
The team includes Mr Samuel Tettey, Deputy Chairman, Operations, senior officials of the EC, representatives of political parties and members of civil society organizations.
Mrs Akpaloo, Head of Chancery warmly welcomed the team and pledged their support towards making the consultations successful.
Present at the briefing were Ms. Stella Ansah, Head of Trade and Investment, Mr. Eric Owusu-Boateng and Ms. Janet Koranteng, Head of Treasury
The implementation of ROPAA required that the Commission put together regulations, in the form of a Constitutional Instrument (CI), to regulate the registration of voters and the conduct of elections in foreign countries.
The PNDC Law 284 did not make provision for Ghanaian citizens other than persons working in Ghana’s diplomatic missions, persons working with international organisations of which Ghana is a member and Ghanaian students on Government scholarship, to be registered in the countries where they reside.
The ROPAA, Act 2006, ACT 699 was therefore passed to extend the right of Ghanaians living outside the country to participate in voting in public elections and referenda.
The EC, under the leadership of Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan had to find a way of implementing ROPAA that would be acceptable to all stakeholders, by setting up a committee in 2011 to make recommendations for the implementation of the Act.
Already the Committee had organised regional consultations, programmes with local stakeholders and civil society organisations, political parties’ representations, traditional authorities, religious leaders, and the media.
It has been over 12 years since ROPAA became law, but Ghanaian citizens living outside the country are yet to be beneficiaries.