NDC elections director Bede Ziedene doubts ROPAA feasibility

Acting Director of Elections of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Bede Zeiden says the decision by the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) to have a committee in place for the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) may not be necessary as the policy is not feasible. Speaking with Winston Amoah on 3FM’s Sunrise, Mr Ziedene mentioned that the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held to discuss the issue was more of a briefing by the Commission than a deliberation.

He said the EC only briefed members of the various political parties about a decision by the high court and that there should be a roadmap for the implementation of ROPAA. “The working group would have various representations from various political parties, civil organizations, the Electoral Commission itself and some other groups.” The working group would be mandated to carry out a survey which would include holding discussions with various stakeholders, touring various regions and some constituencies to elicit views in order to present a report to the EC. Mr. Ziedene disclosed that IPAC would study the report and recommendations in order to draw conclusions. He stated that there are loopholes in the exercise and some questions remain unanswered. “If you decide to have a selected few for its implementation, are you going to limit yourself to African countries, European countries, American or Asian countries…?” he questioned. “This is a fundamental challenge which is difficult for anybody to consider [in] the implementation of ROPAA. “We don’t see the feasibility of that particular project,” he stated. He also clarified that Ghanaians all over the world are entitled to register and vote but, as a matter of fact, the Commission is likely to be selective in the implementation of ROPAA. A former Director of Elections at the EC, Albert Kofi Arhin, who was on the morning show, also said the decision to implement ROPAA is laudable and in the right direction because it has been long overdue. “Ghanaians in the diaspora have been yearning to cast their vote. At least we can go in for the presidential [polls] because for the presidential, the whole country is one constituency which would be quite easy to manage.” He believes, the various political parties should be organized and appoint representatives to help because other smaller nations are giving their citizens the right to cast their ballots.
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By Asia Osman| 3news.com| Ghana    ]]>