Parliamentary committee worried over low publicity for referendum

General News of Saturday, 10 November 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

2018-11-10

Parliament has observed low publicity on referendum for creation of new regions

Parliament’s Special Budget Committee is raising concerns with the low publicity on the upcoming referendum on the creation of new regions.

The concern came up at a crucial meeting between the Committee and the Electoral Commission.

The referendum for the carving out of the regions is slated for December 27, 2018.

Speaking to Citi News, Deputy Ranking Member of the Committee, Yaw FrimpongAddo said the EC told the Committee; they are prepared to conduct the referendum.

“…especially with the publicity they assured us that they are marshaling all resources to embark on massive publicity for ten days. They say that is what they normally do. Once they have assured us I think we should take them by their word and move on,” he added.

Meanwhile, Former Deputy Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine has bemoaned the unavailability of copies of the constitutional instrument C.I 109 for the conduct of the referendum for MPs.

“I think it is a big source of concern the reason being that this is a very important constitutional instrument. And instrument that is aimed at the creation of new regions for the country and members still up to now do not have copies of the instrument for purposes of review. The question is when members do not have the full complement of information how can they make up their minds with respect to whether for instance, the constitutional instrument reflects the recommendations of the Justice Brobbey Commission of inquiry?”

Publish Brobbey report on the creation of new regions – Minority

The Minority in Parliament earlier this week demanded immediate publication of the Justice Brobbey Commission report which recommended the creation of six additional regions in Ghana.

According to Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, it is in the interest of transparency for the recommendations and other details of the commission’s report to be made public.

The Justice Brobbey Commission was set up to look into the requests for the creation of new regions and has presented its report to the government.

Addressing the press, Haruna Iddrisu indicated that it is not right for Parliament to consider a constitutional instrument when there is no report before the House.

“It is in the interest of good governance, openness; truthfulness and transparency that the report of the Commission of Inquiry is made public to enable the nation to verify that the constitutional instrument before Parliament is truly reflective of the contents of the commission’s report.”

“It must be opened up to the entire nation to enable us to gain insights into the thinking of the Commission and the constitutionality of its recommendation, and to determine whether the constitutional instrument laid in Parliament truly reflects the recommendations of the commission,” he added.

Background

Processes are currently underway for the creation of six additional regions in the country following a recommendation by a commission of inquiry.

The commission submitted its report to the president a few months ago.

The 19-member Commission after holding nationwide consultations urged the government to create the administrative regions to be known as Oti, Ahafo, Brong East, Western North, North East, and Savannah.

A referendum is expected to be held in the selected areas before the new regions are created.

But some stakeholders in some of the areas especially from parts of the Volta Region are opposed to the move.

Government and the Electoral Commission have already been slapped with two different suits over the issue.

‘We’re not breaking any law in creating new regions’ – Nana Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo had mounted a spirited defense of his administration’s move to create new regions saying it does not violate the 1992 constitution.

Speaking at a meeting with some chiefs from the Volta Region at the Jubilee House in October 2018, President Akufo-Addo said the government is acting according to the dictates of the constitution.

“I would not be party to anything that attempts to subvert the constitution of Ghana. I fought all my life for constitutional rule in this country, and if I become president and I am the one undermining the constitution then I’m making nonsense of myself. I wouldn’t do that. I don’t see this thing as having anything to do with ambitions, dislike or hostility, no. So Torgbui, through you and the senior chiefs that have come with you, I’m pleading with you, let the temperature on this matter come down,” he pleaded.

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