The Human Rights Division of the Accra High Court, presided over by His Lordship Justice Anthony K. Yeboah, has ruled in favour of a case in which five Ghanaians living abroad demanded the implementation of the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA).
The five had filed the case over the delayed implementation of the Act, but in the ruling, the Court on Monday morning also ordered the Electoral Commission to lay a constitutional instrument for consideration by Parliament within 12 months.
The applicants, Kofi A. Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah, Christiana Sillim and Agyenim Boateng, all living in the United States of America through their lawyers had prayed the court to declare a violation of their human right with the non-implementation of the law, and a subsequently order for them to take part in general elections and national referenda while residing abroad.
The Applicants among sought from the court a Declaration that Applicants have fundamental human rights under Articles 17(2), 42 and 33(5), of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2006 [Act 699] Article 13 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Article 25 of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Protocol 1 (article 3) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Also, they wanted to a) be registered as voters, b) To be issued voters Identity Cards to enable them to vote in public elections and referenda and c) To vote in public elections and referenda particularly Presidential and Parliamentary elections while resident abroad while outside the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ghana at the time of such elections.
The ruling is of keen interest to political parties and political think tanks which have closely monitored concerns over technical issues raised since the ROPAA was passed about 11 years ago.