General News of Sunday, 21 October 2018
A private legal practitioner has said it is a waste of the country’s time and resources for the Electoral Commission to set up of a new committee to create a roadmap for the Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL).
Host of Joy FM/MultiTV’s Newsfile, Samson Lardy Anyenini said, “the new roadmap is only going to be a replica of the roadmap produced by experts in 2011.”
His comments follow an announcement by the EC Chair about setting up a Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA) working group, which would be made up of representatives of registered political parties and civil society organizations.
The working group, Jean Mensa indicated, would undertake nationwide consultation with other relevant parties and would be tasked with the responsibility of defining the modalities, scope and timelines for the implementation of ROPAA.
ROPAL, a law that seeks to provide an opportunity for Ghanaians living abroad to participate in general elections, was passed by Parliament 12 years ago.
A suit that was brought against the Electoral Commission questioned why the election management body had failed to implement the ROPAL.
The Accra High Court in 2017 ruled in favour of the applicants and ordered the EC to execute ROPAL within 12 months.
But Mr. Anyenini stated that “in 2011 the same electoral commission set up a committee of very formidable experts in the country which produced a report of many pages and provided clear roadmaps.”
He added that the setting up of meetings will simply waste money because that committee will do nothing but duplicate what the other committee did in 2011.
“The court order in 2017 was that make sure that you present a constitutional instrument to parliament to operationalize ROPAL,” he stated
He tasked the Commission to “take that report for guidance on the C.I and don’t waste public funds on another round of meetings to duplicate what you already spent money on.”