EC to Conduct Referendum for New Regions in December

All is set for the Electoral Commission to conduct a referendum on the 27th of December, 2018 for the creation of 6 regions in addition to the ten existing regions.


The reorganisation of the regions is a demand by members of the Volta, Oti; Brong Ahafo, Ahafo and Bono East; Northern, Savannah and North East and Western Regions, Western North, mostly aligned by article 5 of the 1992 constitution which imposed strict requirement on the creation of new regions, alteration of boundaries or the merger of two or more regions.


The Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr Dan Botwe, who made the announcement at a Press Briefing in Accra, stated that for the referendum to take place, two things were required as per the 1992 constitution to make the process credible and these two had been met by the Commission of Enquiry and his Ministry.


“The Supreme Court on 28th November, 2018 gave clearance and approval for the creation of the new regions while Parliament was set to approve the Constitutional Instrument by close of sitting on 29th November, 2018, this would pave way for the referendum to begin,” he added.


He explained that before reorganising a particular region, there should be 50 percent of the total population in the region turning up to vote in the referendum with  80 percent of the people voting for  the creation of the new region, noting that if this requirement was not met, reorganisation of the aforementioned regions could not be done.


According to the Minister, should the results of the referendum be favourable for the creation of new regions, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo, would be enjoined by Article 5(8) of the 1992 Constitution to issue a constitutional instrument (CI) giving effect to the results of the referendum for the creation of new regions.


He disclosed that the budget for 2019 had allocated 20 million Ghana Cedis for each new region to cater for some urgent needs like infrastructure- Regional Coordinating Offices among others to contribute to the smooth take off of these regions.


Giving an update on the work done so far, Mr Botwe indicated that the last time the country had a reorganisation of administrative regions was in 1983, hence, there was the need to form a Commission of Enquiry (the Justice Brobbey Committee) to support the work of his Ministry by touring the four regions that needed reorganisation to inquire about the petitions presented by the chiefs of the regions, make recommendations to the President as well as specify the issues that would determine the referendum and the places where it should be held.


On August 15, 2017, the Council of State advised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to appoint a Commission of Enquiry to look into the need to create six regions and make recommendations on all factors involved in the creation of the regions.


The commission, chaired by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice S. A. Brobbey, was established pursuant to Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution and CI 105 and commenced work on November 21, 2017.


On June 27, 2018, it presented its report to President Akufo-Addo and recommended the creation of six new regions. The commission also recommended to the President that the referendum be limited to the proposed regions.


Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo)






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