General News of Tue, 14 Feb 200673

ROPAB cannot be implemented in 2008

The Electoral Commission (EC) cannot implement the Representation of the People?s Amendment (ROPA) Bill in 2008 elections no matter the amount of resources made available for its implementation, reports the Daily Dispatch.

According to the paper, the core of the ROPA Bill is that the determination of when the bill should start, if passed, depends on the EC.

It says three main issues will weigh on the EC as it goes through the determination of when the ROPA Bill will take off.

In consultation with Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), the EC will need to be assured of massive resources to consolidate the organization of the 2008 elections within Ghana.

The EC will also need to be sure of resources, not determined at the moment but expected to be massive amounts of money to implement the ROPA Bill.
Thirdly will be the technical issue, for instance, how to identify Ghanaians, the verification methods of registration and the determination of voting centres.
The determination of voting centres is going to be important because not all places where Ghanaians are will be voting centres.
According to some highly placed officials of the EC, the EC no matter the amount of resources to be made available for the implementation of the ROPA Bill cannot implement the bill when passed for the 2008 elections, reports the paper.
Ghana?s two main political parties, the ruling New Patriotic Party, (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are politically nervous with the outcome of the 2008 presidential and Parliamentary elections.
This has led to unnecessary heightening of tension regarding the passage of the ROPA Bill.
According to the Daily Dispatch report the NPP perceives that majority of Ghanaians living abroad in Europe and North America may have been hounded out by the then Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC). It is thus likely that they would vote against the NDC.
The NDC on the other hand believes this perception and will try and delay ROPAB?s passage as a long as possible.

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Source: Daily Dispatch

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