Executives of the Federation of Ghanaian Diaspora in Europe,
The Federation of the Ghanaian Diaspora in Europe(FEGHADE) has met with the Electoral Commissioner of Ghana, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan and all senior officers of Ghana’s Electoral Commission last 27/03/2015 at the IPAC Hall of the commission’s premises in Accra.
As we all know the Ghanaian diaspora has not been given enough recognition for a long time, especially in matters that circulate the political terrain in Ghana even though Government and the diaspora have made several efforts to avert the situation.
A FEGHADE delegation therefore went to Accra to seek the implementation of Ghana`s Diasporas voting rights.
The year 2002 marked the emergence of the Ghanaian diaspora in national affairs when the dual citizenship act was passed.
In February 2006, Ghana passed the Representation of the People`s Amendment Law (ROPAL) extending voting rights to Ghanaians living outside the country. This was a giant step to enhance the nation`s democratic credentials.
FEGHADE esteems that, the implementation of this important law will bridge the political gap between the diaspora and their homeland Ghana.
Over the past few years the only diaspora phase which seems to have been acknowledged is the financial remittances that the diaspora transfer to the country.
FEGHADE emphasized that, the diaspora across the implementation of ROPAL could contribute to democratic governance in the same way as they are currently contributing to the economic welfare of Ghana.
The Ghanaian Diaspora care about Ghana, just as we care about ourselves they said and the well being of Ghanaians is crucial to diasporans, they said
FEGHADE is the major outcome of the Diaspora Engagement Policy meeting organised by Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ICMPD and MiEUx of the European Union in Brussels last October 2014. As a mouthpiece, it was used to call for the implementation of ROPAL in favor of the millions of Ghanaians living abroad.
In conclusion, Hon. Osei Mensah Michael the FEGHADE Interim President, told Dr. Afari Gyan and the Electoral Commission that, Challenges are paramount in organizing external elections. However, FEGHADE believes Ghana is matured enough to shoulder the expected challenges and diasporans are ready to contribute their quota. He added that, the end result of the request when granted and effected shall glaringly enhance the legitimacy of the democratic process of Ghana.
In response, Dr. Afari Gyan said the call was laudable. In a very explicit discourse, he advised FEGHADE to officially bring on board diasporans from the other continents for this common desire. He said that 2016 election is too close but hopes that if the neccessary actions are taken, Ghanaians in the Diaspora, could participate in the 2020 Presidential elections to start with.
The Deputy Secretary General of FEGHADE, Mr. Gilbert Abassimi presented the petition in full to the audience. It will be published soon for the perusal of all diasporans. The Electoral Commissioner’s full response will also be published soon.