The High Court has ordered the Electoral Commission to produce evidence of concrete steps it is taking to implement a law – the ROPAA (Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 2006 [Act 699] – allowing Ghanaians abroad to vote in national elections.
Justice Anthony Yeboah gave the order after the EC stated in its defence in a case before the court that it was already in the process of implementing the law.
The defence relates to a case brought by five Ghanaians living abroad who insist their rights to register and vote in local elections while abroad continues to be violated by the non-implementation of the law.
Just before the trial was to commence Wednesday morning at the Human Right Division of the High Court, the Electoral Commission made the request through its lawyers to be allowed to prove it was taking steps to implement the law.
Justice Anthony Yeboah acceded to the request.
The Judge pointed out that the EC’s major piece of evidence filed as proof of its claim was a 2011 document and there was no evidence of actual implementation.
Lawyer for the Plaintiffs Samson Lardy Anyenini said he was ready to grant the two-week request even though it was obvious the EC had “gone to sleep since the passage of the law and always resorted to the rhetoric of ‘we are implementing it.'”
The judge said he refused to take note of the comments by Plaintiffs’ Counsel and granted the EC’s request.
The Plaintiffs who belong to the US-based Diaspora group Progressive Alliance Movement (PAM) took up the case last year, withdrew and returned this year.