President Mills Seeks To Re-visit ROPAA

President John Evans Atta Mills would this year constitute a multi-partisan group, under the guidance of the Electoral Commission to re-visit the issue of registration and voting of Ghanaians abroad. "Our objection to the registration of the people under the Representation of People's Amendment Act (ROPAA) when we were in opposition was based on the flawed processes for its introduction and not on the principle of Diaspora Voting," he said. He said the National Democratic Congress' (NDC's) commitment to providing the opportunity for Ghanaians abroad to exercise their franchise was not in doubt and the Government would review the ROPAA Law in its entirety and not a piecemeal amendment of the legislation. President Mills, who said this in his State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, called for the total involvement of all political parties to reach a consensus to enable the Government to replace the existing ROPAA. He said effective inter-party collaboration should be a regular feature in promoting national reconciliation and called on the Leadership of various political parties and Members of Parliament to work hard towards its achievement. "We cannot impose reconciliation by legislation. Genuine reconciliation must come from the heart-and can only come from humility and contriteness-and perhaps, also from a spirit of forgiveness." On National honours, the President announced his intention to repeal the National Honours Instrument of 2008, which he described as "Discriminatory and Inappropriate". "A repealing Executive Instrument will be laid before the House in the course of the year-which will restore the original non-discriminatory honours warrant of 1st July, 1960 executed by the First President of the Republic, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah." On governance, President Mills said his administration had chalked some successes by organizing National Stake-holder's Conference on decentralization and were preparing to introduce far-reaching changes in the decentralization agenda. He said a Constitutional Review Committee had also been established to look at aspects of the Constitution that had attracted numerous concerns over the years and a Presidential Committee on Emoluments to advise on salaries, allowances, facilities and privileges of officials as the Constitution required.