President must do the right thing for ROPAL

In response to a question on the Representation of the Peoples’ Act (ROPA) in his recent visit to the United States, President John Mahama urged that pressure be mounted on his country’s electoral commission for implementation of the act. Question is: who does the pressuring?
If the pressuring has to be mounted by the Diaspora how does His Excellency propose we do it? He must be familiar with other policy issues like dual citizenship which have been ignored and even made illegal by a segment of the Diaspora with his accent. He must also be aware of the part played by the Diaspora in the passing of the law only to be left in the lurch. This idea of pressurizing the EC is actually not strange considering his party’s opposition toward the policy. Or is this the best he can do as a change of mind?
It is unfortunate that the Diaspora has been denied their birthright for flimsy reasons. The Kufuor administration that pushed for ROPAA, caved in to pressure from the opposition with the excuse that the EC did not have the logistics to carry out the exercise to allow the Diaspora to vote in general elections. It was a disappointment then and it is disappointing now for President Mahama to once again pass the buck to the beneficiaries of the Act.
All the president has to do is to write an executive instrument for the Act to be implemented – we stand to be corrected. If funding of the commission is sourced from the consolidated fund largely controlled by the presidency what makes the president pretend that he is not capable of doing what he has to do get the law working? Why indulge in semantics on such a simple issue?
It is disappointing that living in the Diaspora has now become a curse. If the government would be truthful, the economy, even in its current form has been shored up by the Diaspora and that has been the case for a long time. Our remittances official and unofficial have been the backbone of Ghana’s economy. No government official has been heard talking about it but it is true.
As things stand now being in the Diaspora imposes second class citizenship on one. The argument that the NDC stands to lose with the implementation of the law is no more tenable. Times have changed. If Mahama is able to implement the law, the legacy he leaves behind would be cherished by the Diaspora for a long time and his party would be the better for it.

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Posted by on Oct 16 2014. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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