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Electoral structures robust to implement ROPAA — EC Deputy Chair

BY: Vincent Amenuveve
 Dr Eric Bossman Asare (right) Deputy ec Chairperson,  addressing the stakeholder meeting on ropaa held at Bolgatanga
Dr Eric Bossman Asare (right) Deputy ec Chairperson, addressing the stakeholder meeting on ropaa held at Bolgatanga

The Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Eric Bossman Asare, has allayed the fears of Ghanaians and said the country's electoral structures are so robust that the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) will not be an issue.

He acknowledged that although every new system had its own teething problems, the level of commitment currently being exhibited by the EC would enable it to surmount challenges that might come with the ROPAA implementation.

Addressing stakeholders in Bolgatanga on Thursday to collate views on the implementation of the ROPAA, Dr Asare intimated that the EC was currently going round the country to ensure that a lot of consultations were done to enhance the implementation of the ROPAA.

Implementing ROPAA

He explained that there was no way the EC would relax in implementing the ROPAA because that would amount to contempt of court and a disregard for the law.

According to him, the EC was expected to start implementing the ROPAA within this year in accordance with a court ruling.

A member of the subcommittee on ROPAA representing the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, observed that all political parties needed to trust in the structures and that when it came to choosing people from the various embassies to lead a certain process along the line, all the parties must be able to support those people else the ROPAA agenda could not move forward.

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Dr Kunbuor, who is also the Member of Parliament for Nandom, further intimated that issues of suspicion among political parties, especially the New Patriotic Party(NPP) and the NDC, must be avoided.

Participants

Participants in the meeting raised various concerns including whether or not the Electoral Commission had the financial muscle to conduct the ROPAA vis-a-vis conducting other elections in the country.

Some of them were of the view that the success or otherwise of the ROPAA implementation would, to some extent, depend on the extent of trust Ghanaians had in the system.

Some representatives of the Convention People's Party entreated the EC to bring on board all other political parties and to avoid focusing on only the NDC and the ruling NPP.

They explained that the move would enable the EC to avoid unnecessary controversies and tensions that were allegedly brought about by the two giant political parties.

In appointing registration and election officials in accordance with section 1(2) of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 699 of 2006, the participants appealed to the EC to be circumspect in order not to appoint people from the various embassies who might have sympathies with a particular political party or parties.