The Majority Leader in Parliament has expressed doubts whether the Electoral Commission is prepared to make Ghanaians abroad vote in 2020.
Speaking at a forum Tuesday, Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu cast doubts on the Commission’s ability to operationalise the Representation of Peoples Amendment Act, for the 2020 general elections.
His comments follow a ruling by an Accra High Court that ordered the EC to implement the law which was passed over a decade ago to enable Ghanaians abroad to vote.
Since 2006, the EC has not implemented the law, giving several excuses including a lack of resources.
However, the court in 2017 gave a 12-month deadline to the EC to lay the CI before Parliament to operationalise the Act.
Jean Mensa is Chairperson of the Electoral Commission
The Commission missed the deadline. Lawyer for the plaintiffs in the case urged the court to hold the Commissioners liable for contempt.
Speaking on the ROPAA, Mensa-Bonsu questioned the competence of the court to order the EC.
According to the legislator, the EC is an independent state body and cannot be ordered by another institution.
“Could a court order the EC to operationalise the law within a certain timeframe against a clear constitutional provision…which provides that in the performance of its functions, the EC shall not be subject to the direction of any person or authority?”
“I have my doubts…,” the Suame MP said.
EC consults on ROPAA
The EC has meanwhile, been touring the country to collate views on how to implement the ROPAA.
NDC kicks against piloting ROPAA in 2020
The biggest opposition party, the NDC has, however, been kicking against piloting the ROPAA in 2020.
The party expressed opposition to Ghana’s diplomatic missions abroad leading the registration and electoral process.
“In my honest view, I think Ghana is not ready for ROPAA implementation in 2020 election…,” Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Okudzeto Ablakwa said.