Zaato Yebfaasan-Yaa

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Creation of 45 New Constituencies – NPP much ado about nothing

It all began early in the year when the NDC government acting through the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development in conformity with Sub-section 2 Clause 1 of the Local Government Act which enjoins the President to create new districts announced the names and capitals of 42 newly created municipalities and districts across the country and earmarked 42 million Ghana cedis seed capital in the 2012 budget to support their successful take off. Then in the middle of the year the Ghana statistical service (GSS) released the final figures of the 2010 population census and the EC based on the provisions of article 47(5) & (6) of the constitution. Article 47(5) states “The Electoral Commission shall review the division of Ghana into constituencies at intervals of not less than seven years, or within twelve months after the publication of the enumeration figures after the holding of a census of the population of Ghana, whichever is earlier, and may, as a result, alter the constituencies” whilst article 47(6) states “Where the boundaries of a constituency established under this article are altered as a result of a review, the alteration shall come into effect upon the next dissolution of Parliament”

On the bases of article 47(5) & (6) of the constitution of Ghana it is certain that the EC is not acting illegally by creating the 45 new constituencies and as such we should all as conscious and law abiding citizens of Ghana unreservedly support the EC in the execution of its constitutional mandate.

In recent days some state, civil, church and political actors have come out to severally and jointly express some reservation about the creation of the 45 new constituencies and are edging the EC to suspend the creation now until after the December 7th election. Prominent amongst such voices are former president JA Kufour who came out to warn the EC that it was senseless and will cause a disturbance of the peace in the country by the creation of the 45 new constituencies, also Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe a kingpin of the opposition NPP has even dared that the new constituencies will never see the day of light and will be resisted with fierce violence should the EC proceed withit; such utterance are very unfortunate and do not bode well for the peace and tranquility of the country.

The NPP opposition to the creation of the new constituencies cannot be said to be based on utmost good faith; the lack of consistency in their posturing and insensitivity to the feelings of those of us who are beneficiaries to the creation of the 45 new constituencies such as the Nandom constituency is unfortunate, unfair and a monumental political risk to them.

On the charge of illegality in the creation of the constituencies as I have already stated earlier, it falls flat on the bases of article 45(5) & (6) of the constitution which empowers the EC to review the constituencies. As such the EC is simply performing its mandate with the creation of the 45 new constituencies under the controversial CIs 73, 77 and 78. The good news is that barring any unforeseen act CI 78 will mature by early October to ensure that they are included in the 2012 December 7th election. It is no wonder that most of the botched suits and futile legal challenges at the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the creation of the constituencies by the EC championed by known NPP sympathizers such Ayikoi Otoo, Godorn Odame ect have been thrown out and come Wednesday 12/09/2012 we shall know about the injunction restraining parliament on sitting on the CI 73 now CI78.

On the charge of lack of time for the creation of the 45 new constituencies, I find it very untenable in the face of the fact that the EC has time without number stated categorically that, they have the time and resources to conduct the 2012 election with the 275 parliamentary seats; so why are “the funeral sympathizers crying more louder than the bereaved family”?, the TUC, CDD and Presbyterian church must stop this their hypocritical opposition. I think the NPP political party is not sincere to the good people of Ghana with this ranting about inadequate time for them to elect the candidates and do the necessary filling with the EC, is it not very intriguing that at present the NPP is yet select MPs for 10 constituencies including the Nkawkwa constituency?. The NPP definitely must have other ulterior motives for their vociferous opposition to the creation of the 45 new constituencies than meets the eye.

On the issue of the potential to cause violence with the creation of the 45 new constituencies, I also find this very farcical, ludicrous and evil intended. I simply cannot fathom how the benign creation of additional constituencies should foment violence in the country, certainly these new constituencies will not be placed in Jupiter or Plato planets also the creation will not lead to either the physical or geographical relocation of the people/electorate since the exercise is more of a legal and paper creation than a physical one. For example I come from the Lawra-Nandom constituency which has now been divided into Nandom and Lawra constituencies I, therefore, cannot see how the residents of the two areas will visit violence on another simply because they have been separated the converse will rather be the case. In accounting there is a concept called “substance over form” I am hereby of the understanding that the NPP and their collaborators are just being fiendish on the form rather than the substance and legality of the facts on the reconstitution of the constituencies in the country.

I hereby edge all well-meaning citizens to objectively consider the substantive and legal issues for the reconstitution of the constituencies in Ghana and not allow ourselves to be misinformed, misled and inflamed by deprave and degenerate politicians to violence; we must be disciplined enough to allow our democratic institutions such as the EC and judiciary to freely and fairly perform their duties and functions for our common good.