Some Ghanaians in Denmark have expressed mixed reactions to a ruling from a High Court ordering the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow Ghanaians in the diaspora to vote in general elections.
An Accra High Court on Monday directed the EC to implement, within 12 months, the Representation of the People Amendment Law also known as the ROPAL, 2006 [Act 699].
The ROPAL was passed in 2006 and sought to empower eligible Ghanaians outside the country to vote in national elections, however, it has not been implemented by successive governments, leaving many Ghanaians abroad disenfranchised.
Meanwhile some Ghanaians, while speaking in an interaction with Ghana’s Ambassador to Denmark Amerley Ollennu Awua-Asamoa, gave varied opinions on the matter.
The Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) branch in Denmark, Francis Selorm Sekyi and Organizer for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Kweku Mensah have both welcomed the decision, saying it was long overdue.
But Nii Adu Ntre, who has been in Denmark for 23 years, raised concerns about how the integrity of the ballots would be protected in order to avoid election disputes.
“Who is going to make sure that the people who walk into wherever place we are going to vote are the right people, because the truth is that about 80% of the people here are Danish citizens, not dual citizens. So how do we ensure the integrity of the vote?” he quizzed.
Ghanaian diaspora to play key role in national development
In another development, Ghana’s Ambassador to Denmark Amerley Ollennu Awua-Asamoa, said government is keen on effectively mobilizing the resources and skills of Ghanaians in the diaspora to help transform the country.
According to her, the role of the Ghanaian Diaspora in national development has attained unprecedented recognition from the current government.
Speaking at the maiden end-of-year interaction with Ghanaians in Denmark, she said, “President Nana Akufo Addo’s administration prioritises Diaspora investments. This is evident in his vision on Diaspora inclusiveness in building the new Ghana, the Ghana beyond Aid.”
Ambassador Ollennu Awua-Asamoa stated that Government is seeking a partnership with the diaspora that will increase investments, create a vibrant private sector, and the needed jobs for the teeming youth in Ghana.
“There is the need to inculcate in our people the best practices you’ve learnt from working in the top businesses and companies from the around the world. This would be the needed seed we would sow for the transformation of Ghana,” she emphasised in her address to the leadership of the various churches, unions and political parties (NPP&NDC) at the forum.
On the recent state visit by the Queen of Denmark to Ghana in November, She described it as a big success and that some eight MoUs have been signed in various sectors with the high-level delegation of 39 businesses that joined the Queen to visit Ghana.
Call for Unity
Ambassador Ollennu Awua-Asamoa further called on the various Ghanaian unions, Churches, political groupings and intellectuals to join the Ghana mission to present a united Ghanaian front in activities in the country.
“The mission is bent on pursuing and achieving positive results through close cooperation and trust with the Ghanaian Diaspora. Whatever has happened in the past should stay in the past. I am here now as your ambassador, ready to serve! Let’s start on a new page, afresh with no prejudice or malice”, she added.
The leadership of the NDC and NPP branches in Denmark commended the efforts of the mission to promote closer ties between the Diaspora networks all over the Scandinavian countries.