Foreign Affairs Ministry requests details of eligible citizens abroad for possible voter registration

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration is expected to ask the Electoral Commission (EC) to put in place plans to register a select category of Ghanaians abroad, according to a communiqué sighted by Citi News.

This request will be in line with the PNDC Law 284 which allows for persons working in Ghana’s diplomatic missions, persons working with international organisations of which Ghana is a member and Ghanaian students on Government scholarship, to be registered in the countries where they reside.

The communiqué to the Ghana Embassy in the Czech Republic indicated that Ghanaian diplomats, international civil servants and students on Government scholarship abroad would benefit from an online registration.

The communiqué indicated that they are expecting a request to the EC from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

“In anticipation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration’s request to the Electoral Commission to register Ghana Government-sponsored students abroad, you are kindly requested to urgently complete the following data…”

The data requested included passport numbers and polling stations.

“The completed information should reach the Mission by close of day 14th August 2020 for a very important national exercise,” the communiqué noted.

Ghanaian citizens resident outside Ghana, however, remain in limbo because of the non-implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) which was passed in 2007.

The concerns over ROPAA were heightened this year because a number of Ghanaians were also stranded abroad because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The EC was petitioned to extend the voter registration to eligible Ghanaians outside the country by a group called aRTICLE 42.

A coordinator of the group, Richard Sky, expressed disappointment with the non-action by the EC despite the petition and previous direction from the court.

“The fact that the Electoral Commission has not found it fit to respond to our petition, we find that rather discourteous,” he said on Eyewitness News.

On the Commissions’ limited interpretation of PNDC Law 284, he added that: “We find this completely unacceptable. It is a decision that flies in the face of a decision of the high court.”


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