Former Majority Leader in the house of legislature, Felix Owusu Agyapong, has pummeled the Electoral Commission (EC) of failing to implement the Representation of People Amendment Law (ROPAL).
But speaking at a forum on electoral accountability organized by the institute for democratic governance (IDEG), the former minister for Parliamentary Affairs insisted the law had not been implemented because of the ineffectiveness of the EC and not because it is a bad law.
“When I led parliament to pass the ROPAL bill we felt it was needed, because let’s face it, even countries who were not at our level of democratic development had passed such laws long time.”
“So after passing the law we realised the main difficulty that we let the electoral commission to decide when to implement it, don’t forget they had never told us it would take such a long time to implement”, the former MP indicated.
“In fact ROPAL has failed it is due to the lack of effectiveness on the side of the electoral commission…And this will be one of the few instances where you cannot really blame Parliament because ROPAL was a good law,” he added.
For his part, the Executive Director of IDEG, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey stated that with barely 17 months to the 2016 elections, all stakeholders in the governance system must discuss how to build consensus to ensure the nation avoids the pitfalls in previous elections.
Meanwhile, the lead speaker at the forum,Professor Susanna wing, former chair of the Department of Political Science at Haverford College, USA, stated that though there is high level of freedom in Ghana recent afrobarometer reports indicated that Ghanaianswere losing trust in government- something she describes as a huge risk to the stability of the state.
The act which generated much controversy prior to its passage in 2005, which if implemented would enable Ghanaians living abroad to vote in national elections has not been implemented since the then- President Kufuor signed it into law.
Source: The New Crusading Guide
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