Politics of Friday, 21 December 2018
The acting General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), James Kwabena ‘Kabila’ Bomfeh, has criticised the Electoral Commission for perpetuating the duopoly of the National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party (NPP) with the composition of the nine-member committee for the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA).
The committee saw both NDC and the NPP given their own representatives on the committee with Ben Kumbuor and John Buodu, respectively.
But the other political parties comprising the CPP, People’s s National Convention (PNC), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and over ten others, were tagged as smaller political parties and asked to present one representative.
Outside the NPP and the NDC, no other political parties have legislators in Parliament, signifying the dwindling fortunes of such parties over the last decade.
Mr. Bomfeh decried this development as insulting and disrespectful and called for fairness from the EC.
“Our participation in IPAC [Inter Party Advisory Committee] deliberations is not based on our presence in Parliament or outside Parliament. They are based on our presence on the register of the Electoral Commission,” he insisted on Eyewitness News.
He also rubbished idea of a party in government, saying “we have the President of the Republic who was sponsored by a certain political party, but his decisions are not necessarily the decisions of a political party as you have in the UK.”
He also described the duopoly of the NDC and the NPP as a problem “killing” the country.
“They [NDC and NPP] have run this nation for 25 years and they keep running it the same poor way and Ghanaians are crying every day.”
Mr. Bomfeh said he would prefer that the so-called smaller political parties boycott the committee.
“I wish based on what they were offering us that we didn’t make any representation on the committee at all. That was my view. If you would not accord as respect on the basis of us being registered with you as political parties… then I am sorry, we can also opt out.”
About the ROPA committee
The EC inaugurated the nine-member committee to lead stakeholder consultations towards the subsequent implementation of the ROPAA.
The committee has been charged to conduct a research on countries that are implementing ROPAA, and to ascertain how this is being implemented in those countries.
The decision to constitute a committee to oversee the implementation of the Act was reached in October 2018 at an IPAC meeting attended by representatives of all the registered political parties in the country, some donor agencies and civil society.
The committee is made up of representatives of the registered Political Parties and Civil Society Organizations.
The law was passed in 2006 to afford Ghanaians of voting age living abroad the right to vote.
It has however not been implemented 16 years after passage.
In December 2017, the High Court ordered the Electoral Commission to implement within 12 months, the Representation of the People Amendment Act also known as the ROPAA law, 2006 [Act 699].
Justice Anthony Yeboah said the EC had for the last ten years breached the rights of Ghanaians living abroad by failing to give them an opportunity to vote.