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EC sued for contempt over ROPAA

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EC sued for contempt over ROPAA

EC sued for contempt over ROPAA

Five Ghanaians in the Diaspora have filed a contempt case against the Electoral Commission (EC), the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, and the six other commissioners for failing to operationalise the Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA), 2006 (Act 699) which gives Ghanaians in the Diaspora the right to vote from abroad.

The five — Dr Kofi Boateng, Agyenim Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah and Christian Sillim — want the Accra High Court to commit the EC and its commissioners for contempt for not implementing an order from the High Court that ROPAA should be operationalised within 12 months.

The order was part of a judgement delivered by the High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Anthony Yeboah, on December 18, 2017, in which the EC was ordered to operationalise ROPAA by laying before Parliament a Constitutional Instrument (CI) that would set out the modalities for the implementation of the law.

In the event that the EC had any justifiable reason and was “unable to comply with the order”, the court ordered it to publish the justifiable reason(s) 30 days before the expiration of the deadline and also appear before the court to explain the reason(s).

Contempt application

In their application for contempt filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Mr Samson Lardy Ayenini, the five Ghanaians averred that the EC had “failed, refused or neglected to respect and comply” with the specific orders of the court.

That, they argued, was in spite of numerous letters that they wrote to remind the EC of the impending deadline.

“The first respondent (the EC) and its commissioners have, with impunity, continued their contemptuous acts of not complying with the said judgement and its specific orders directed at them personally, even though the time for complying has elapsed,” they averred.

According to the five applicants, the only way to ensure that the EC complied with the court’s orders was for Mrs Mensa and the other commissioners to be “committed to prison for contempt”.

“I am not guilty of contempt”

Mrs Mensa has, however, refuted claims by the five applicants that she and the EC had acted contemptuously.

In her affidavit in opposition, she contended that she was not the Chairperson of the EC at the time the court gave the order in December 2017 and that since her appointment, she had taken steps to implement the orders of the court.

“Having been seized with the orders of the court after my appointment in July 2018, and ensuring that steps are taken in complying with the orders of the court, I, through my lawyers, filed for an extension of time within which the operationalisation of Act 699 would take place.

“I deny that in the performance of my official duties as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana I have acted wilfully with the view to bring the administration of justice into disrepute or disregard,” she averred.

Background

The five Ghanaians sued the electoral management body on the basis that it had “gone to sleep” and refused to implement Act 699, 11 years after it was passed.

The “deliberate refusal” or inaction of the EC to implement the act, they argued, had robbed them of the chance to vote in three general elections (2008, 2012 and 2016) and other public elections.

They also contended that it was discriminatory for the EC to continue to register a category of Ghanaian citizens studying abroad or working in Ghana’s missions/embassies abroad to vote in public elections and referenda without including them.

In the judgement, which upheld the case of the five Ghanaians, the court held that the EC was deliberately dragging its feet and had made its mind not to implement Act 699 any time soon.

It was the court’s view that the EC failed to give any cogent reasons for the delay, describing the delay as “grievous, unreasonable and unjustifiable’’.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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We may consider revising 1D1F – NPP communicator

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We may consider revising 1D1F – NPP communicator

A member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Communications team, Eric Amoako Twum, has said the government may have to go back to the drawing board to redefine its flagship policy “One-District One-Factory” to properly address the economic needs of Ghanaians.

The NPP while in opposition promised to establish a factory in each of the 216 districts (now 254) in the country, but on coming into government less than 100 factories to produce various goods have been established or revived.

In the wake of conversations about the alarming depreciation of the cedi, many experts, including the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have blamed it on the country’s high appetite for imported goods.

An extended conversation on the matter questions why the country continues to import when the 1D1F was supposed to help reduce importation.

Some critics however think that the policy could focused on setting up factories for goods that the country imports the most rather than seeking to set up different factories across the country.

Speaking on TV3’s New Day Thursday, Mr. Twum agrees it will not be out of place to consider the options being proffered by the critics.

“And people have come out and said, listen, maybe even for the one district one factory, four, five, six products that are major imports into this country and create a huge factory to afford for economies of scale”, he said.

“I believe that we can go back to the drawing board and redefine the 1D1F in terms of 5,6 strategic factories”, he added.

Asked if he is convinced that is the way to go to make the policy better, Mr. Twum responded in the affirmative, “I believe in it”.

Private legal practitioner and member of the Conventions People’s Party (CPP), Kwame Jantua, who was also contributing to the discussion observed that it has always been his position that the 1D1F policy focuses on a few factories that manufacture goods the country has a competitive advantage in.

“The focus of one-district one-factory should not have been the way it is”, he observed.

Member of Parliament (MP) for the Tamale North Constituency, Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini, also noted that it is welcoming news to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), that the NPP has agreed to go back to the drawing board.

According to him, it has always been the position of the NDC that the government did not think through their policies properly but “governs as you go”.

Source: 3news.com

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GCPP lauds government for involving parties in local governance

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GCPP lauds government for involving parties in local governance

The Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), has lauded the government for the bold decision to amend some provisions in the 1992 Constitution to allow political parties to participate in district level elections and governance processes.

It said that would fulfil the constitutional obligation of reinforcing multiparty democracy since over the years, successive governments have paid lip service to the call for involvement of political parties in district level governance and government’s decision was in tandem with the constitution.

John Kwadzo Amekah, the 2012 and 2016 vice presidential candidate of the GCPP, made the commendation and urged traditional authorities and civil society organisations to support the national referendum in September, this year.

He appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to enact constitutional instruments and legislations after election of people to assemblies to avoid laws that would create lopsided playing field to put impediments on those elected.

“Those who will be elected should put up their best performances to enable them to be re-elected, which will ultimately accelerate socio-economic development at the local level, we applaud government’s social intervention programmes which has reduced financial burden on parents because in the past they struggled to find money to pay their children’s school fees, especially at the secondary level and must be sustained.

“The recent celebration of the 62nd Independence Day parade at Tamale on March 6, somehow deepened the peace in Dagbon traditional area after successful resolution of the age-long chieftaincy dispute and bridged the gap existing between northerners and southerners,” Mr Ameka noted.

Commenting on the prevailing discussions on political vigilantism, he called on the government “to give free hand to the Police to operate for those involved in the act arrested, prosecuted and possibly jailed when found guilty, that is the only way the government can be exonerated or otherwise other people will engage in political vigilantism to paint the government black”.

The government has stated that the election process would be in three phases: Pre-referendum activities, referendum activities, post-referendum activities and the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution, consequently regional consultations and sensitisation programmes to raise public awareness and prepare for the referendum in September.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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UEW saga: The church mustn’t be divisive; Prof. Afful-Broni must step aside – MP

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UEW saga: The church mustn’t be divisive; Prof. Afful-Broni must step aside – MP

UEW saga: The church mustn’t be divisive; Prof. Afful-Broni must step aside – MP

The Member of Parliament for Bongo, Edward Bawa is concerned a man of the clergy is at the heart of the leadership crisis that has engulfed the University of Education, Winneba.

He feels on those grounds alone the UEW Vice Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Prof. Anthony Afful-Broni, should step aside in the name of peace.

Prof. Afful-Broni’s dismissal of some lecturers sparked student protests that culminated in the school being shut down indefinitely.

Students and the University Teachers Association of Ghana have accused the VC of trying to sabotage the school.

Speaking on The Big Issue, Mr. Bawa insisted that “the church cannot be seen as a dividing force so when you are the reason there is a problem, you could be right you could be wrong, excuse yourself.”

“In the spirit of reconciliation and in the spirit of the progress of the university, I think professor Afful-Broni should step aside. His first call is to be a priest. His first and primary call is to evangelise… I think [an] Archbishop of Central Region should also step in. If your presence can create chaos in an environment, it is only fair that you are taken out,” Mr. Bawa concluded.

Some MPs have also voiced concern with Prof. Afful-Broni’s methods with the Minority Spokesperson on Education, Peter Nortsu-Kotoe, accusing the Vice-Chancellor of mismanagement.

He, for example, said the Vice-Chancellor had spent over GHc 5.7 million on transportation and honorarium in just six months.

Effutu MP Alexander Afenyo-Markin, who has been very vocal on the school’s affairs, also called on Prof. Afful-Broni to resign.

“Afful-Broni was supposed to do [more], but he has failed. I am sure that in the next few days if he has a conscience, he will resign and leave the university because he has failed the University. Afful-Broni has failed the University; he has misled all of us – that is a matter of fact. Mistakes of the past shouldn’t be repeated,” he said on Monday.

Resolution in sight?

Prof. Afful-Broni, the school’s board chair, Prof. Emmanuel Nicholas Abakah and other stakeholders have since agreed to work towards addressing the current challenges at the school.

The two were part of a meeting involving the Minister for Education, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Mr. Afenyo-Markin, among other stakeholders in Accra on Friday aimed at ensuring lasting peace on the school’s campus.

Dr. Opoku Prempeh following the meeting expressed hope that the new found understanding “will serve as a bedrock for peaceful deliberations and relations henceforth and that peace in the university be prioritized in all their dealings.”

Source: citinewsroom.com

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