In late 2011, three Ghanaians, Kwame Fosu, Michael Baffoe, and Kofi Koranteng came together to device means to empower Ghanaians Living Abroad (GLAs) to be active in the affairs of their country -Ghana. This nucleus grew through frequent home meetings.
The group attracted like-minded people, and in November 2013, Progressive Alliance Movement, Inc. (PAM) was incorporated in the State of New York (USA) as a nonprofit organization, and exempted from income taxes by the Internal Revenue Service of the USA. PAM is a 501 (c) (3) entity. The founding members to join the original three included Catherine Cudjoe, Obed Danquah, Ekow Micah, Nasir Ibrahim, David Amanor, Poku Asubonteng, Francis Addo, Janet Konlan, Mr. Sakeyfio, Kwaku Amoyaw, George Betihene, and others. Joining later in 2016 were Dr. Kofi Boateng, Dr. Agyenim Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Cristian Sillim, and Georgette Djaba.
PAM is currently focused on ensuring that Ghana’s Electoral Commission implements the law that operationalizes Article 42 of the country’s 1992 constitution. It states that Ghanaians aged 18 years or older, have the right to register and to vote in Ghana’s elections. After four presidential election cycles where GLAs were systematically and deliberately excluded from voting per the constitution (1992, 1996, 2000,2004), a group of GLAs calling itself the Diaspora Vote Committee and led by Dr. Kofi Boateng stormed Ghana in 2005 to advocate for the passage of a law to effect overseas voting. On February 24, 2006, Act 699, Representation of the People Amendment Act (ROPAA) was born. It put the onus of implementing overseas voting by GLAs on the Electoral Commission (EC). Three additional presidential election cycles passed (2008, 2012, 2016) and still the EC did not implement ROPAA.
PAM stirred into action, raised the funds, hired Attorney Samson Lardy Anyenini, and filed a case in Ghana’s High Court of Human Rights against the EC and the country’s Attorney General. On December 18, 2017, the late Justice Anthony K. Yeboah ruled that the EC had discriminated against GLAs in denying them their right to register and vote from where they live; and the EC should submit a Constitutional Instrument (CI) to Ghana’s parliament by December 31, 2018 to enable GLAs to vote in the 2020 elections.
The EC claims it submitted the CI to parliament in June 2020 after obtaining an extension from the High Court of Human Rights (Justice Nicholas Abodapki). PAM has requested, but the EC has not given it a copy of the CI. The EC has cited COVID19 as the latest reason for not implementing ROPAA for the December 7, 2020 Ghana presidential elections.
PAM is not resting. It continues to press the EC and educate GLAs through global forums. We need your support and financial contributions to achieve the objective of Ghana’s overseas voting by GLAs. The history speaks for itself- no advocacy, no change, no action, no vote. New York, November 18, 2020