In Ghana, former president Jerry Rawlings says his party, the National Democratic Congress, will fight against electoral fraud. The statement is believed to be in connection with the government’s drive to pass a bill known as the Representation of the People Amendment Bill (ROPAB), currently before parliament. The bill seeks to enable Ghanaians living abroad to cast their vote in the country’s general elections. But opposition parties say they smell foul play; they say it is a perfect rigging mechanism being put in motion by the present administration, headed by John Kuffour. Meanwhile, there was a second demonstration against the Representation of the People Amendment Bill (ROPAB) yesterday in Accra, with hundreds of marchers clad in red and bearing placards condemning the bill.
Victor Smith is the special aide to former president Rawlings. Speaking to English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about why the former president opposes the bill, Smith said, “We believe it is an attempt by the ruling government to cheat us and try to be fraudulent in future elections and we are saying we will not allow that to happen. And they are trying to push it but you see the danger is that almost all the other parties are against it; [the] ordinary man on the street is against it. You saw the demonstration of last week, and today you could see that serious times are ahead. And this government needs to be a listening government….” Smith said, “We want Ghanaians to act as a pressure group to get civil society foreign mission in the country who are quite influential to advise this government to think again and not to be selfish.”