Kofi Korateng, CEO Progressive Alliance Movement
A leading member of UK-based non-political movement, Progressive Alliance Movement (PAM), Mr. Kofi Koranteng has posited that the group is ready to ‘bear’ the cost when the Representation of the People’s Amendment Act (ROPAA), Act 699, is implemented by the Electoral Commission (EC).
ROPAA permits Ghanaians living abroad to register and vote in elections held in Ghana.
However, the Electoral Commission (EC) has failed to implement it since it was passed into law, citing financial constraints.
But Mr. Kofi Koranteng, whose group has sued the EC at the Accra High Court- praying the court to cause the EC to immediately implement ROPAA as he said the excuse by the electioneering body is neither here nor there.
Speaking from his UK base, Mr. Koranteng noted that they are not expecting the EC to bear the full cost of the exercise because they (PAM) are willing to contribute financially to assist the Commission in the full implementation of the exercise.
According to him, the EC could get donor support from bodies that have contributed towards Ghana’s elections in the past.
Mr. Kofi Koranteng said bodies across the globe who believe in democratic rule will not hesitate to contribute in implementing ROPAA.
He charged the EC to take the bold step in implementing ROPAA because it is their constitutional mandate to provide the instrument that ensures that Ghanaians abroad are able to cast their vote.
According to him, it is a violation of their rights as Ghanaians abroad to register and vote per Article 42 of the constitution of the Republic of Ghana which states: “Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”
He further cited some international conventions to buttress their human rights position – Article(s) 13 of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights; 25 of the International Covenant on Civil Rights; 21 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights; Protocol 1 of the European Convention which Ghana has signed- makes it a violation of their rights to vote irrespective of their political parties to make the process more credible, free, fair and transparent.
Mr. Kofi Koranteng emphasized that their suit is to improve the process of Ghana’s democracy to help Ghanaians abroad participate in the decision-making process to help the country develop.
“Our group is not a political party…It consist of members from the various political divide…Our focus is to ensure that we contribute to solving Ghana’s challenges. We are tired of complain(s) from family members that, things are hard and that the economy is in crisis. We want to help solve that problem by participating in the voting process. We are hopeful that the judges in their wisdom will grant us our request.”