Ghana: Prez Akufo-Addo To Engage EC To Allow Ghanaians Abroad To Vote

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Publication Date 
Thu, 2017-05-04

“President Akufo-Addo says his government will be working with the Electoral Commission to ensure the law allowing Ghanaians abroad to vote in the country's elections becomes fully operational. Addressing the Ghanaian community in Togo, President Akufo-Addo expressed disbelief that ten years after the Representation of People Amendment Law was passed, it is yet to be implemented. ‘We passed the law and I can't understand why 10 years later it is dormant on the statute books,’ he said reiterating an NPP 2016 campaign promise to revive ROPAL. Ghana has organised three general elections since the law was passed in 2007. But at each election, the elections governing body, the Election Commission, has signalled it is not ready to implement the law. The then Electoral Commissioner Dr. Afari-Gyan remarked in 2007, ‘ROPAL is in stages and....we are in the preparatory stages.’ A decade later, the Electoral Commission's 2016-2020 strategic plan states ‘there is currently no plan’ to implement the law. Nonetheless, the Commission has set a 2018 deadline to clearly define a roadmap for ROPAL implementation. The document mentions staffing and funding as some of the barriers to its implementation.”