New regions referendum: Transfer of votes, proxy slated for December 2

General News of Saturday, 1 December 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

2018-12-01

play videoEC Chairperson, Jean Mensah

The Electoral Commission is to begin taking applications for proxy and votes transfer for the upcoming referendum for the newly proposed regions on December 2, 2018.

According to the EC, only persons within the proposed regions will be allowed to transfer their names.

This follows the maturity of the Legislative Instrument which will govern the referendum scheduled for the 27th of December 2018.

Addressing the media, a Deputy Chairperson of the EC Samuel Tettey says the exercise will last for four days.

“We have two important exercises to be undertaken before we get to 27th December and these exercises are transfer of votes and proxy vote. These two exercises form part of the electoral process.

Secondly, they are also grounded in law. Transfer for the referendum is from the 2nd to the 6th of December.

“From the 2nd to the 6th, all applicants who have relocated, that is moved from one area to the other and would want to take part in the referendum, they would have the opportunity to go to the district office to transfer his or her votes. It is the same as proxy probably because on the day of election you will not be there physically because you are sick or away. These are the two exercises that we have created for the referendum for the six regions.”

This follows the Supreme Court’s verdict giving clearance to the Electoral Commission to hold its referendum in selected areas earmarked for the creation of new regions.

The Court dismissed a suit seeking to challenge the decision of the EC to only allow residents in the affected areas to vote in the referendum.

According to the Justices of the Supreme Court, there is no genuine or real issue for interpretation as the constitution states unambiguously, the discretionary power given to the Electoral Commission.

The Justices also said the Commission of Enquiry did not err in suggesting how the referendum should be held as they did not hold the final authority to decide.

The plaintiffs, Mayor Agblexe, Destiny Awlimey, and Jean-Claude Koku Amenyaoglo, were seeking an interpretation of Article 5 of the 1992 constitution which states the procedure for the creation of new regions.

They further asked for clarity on who is qualified to vote in the referendum regarding the creation of the new regions, specifically the Oti Region.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, Albert Quarshigah, has expressed disappointment at the decision of the court.

Speaking to the media, Mr. Quashigah said he holds a contrary view.

Background

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.

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

The Electoral Commission has set December 27, 2018, for the referendum on the creation of the new regions.

The Commission has embarked on a series of activities, including the registration of new and continuous voters, the exhibition of the voters’ register, as well as processes for the transfer of votes and or the grant of proxy votes.

But some stakeholders in some of the areas especially in parts of the Volta Region, are opposed to the Oti Region.

Others also have concerns about the restriction of the referendum to areas that will be part of the new regions.

‘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.

L.I. on referendum for new regions laid in Parliament

The Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament on November 14, 2018 laid its report on the Referendum Regulations 2018.

The regulations form part of the legal framework required to support the upcoming referendum in December 2018 for the creation of six new regions.

Publish Brobbey report on the creation of new regions – Minority

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

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