Feature Article of Friday, 31 August 2012
Columnist: The Catalyst
New Patriotic Party (NPP) appendage group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) is threatening the Electoral Commission (EC) to rescind its decision to create 45 new constituencies before the 2012 general elections or they will embark on an action similar to the Arab Spring, which brought in its wake wonton violence, killings and destruction, in registering their protest at the constitutional obligation being carried out by the state institution.
At a press conference on Tuesday, AFAG indicated clearly that “It is obvious that, in spite of the incessant calls, the government and the electoral commission are more than determined to see to the passage and implementation of this dangerous decision without a hoot about the repercussions. Consequently, AFAG, in the interest of the public is giving Dr. Afari Djan and his Electoral Commission 2 weeks to unconditionally rescind his decision, or to honourably resign as Commissioner if he cannot stand up to the challenge.
Failure to do so, Mr.EC; AFAG and the good people of this country will demonstrate to show that, in this matter of national concern, the voice of the people matters!
Fellow countrymen, in other to meet the challenge of the above, AFAG will for the first time; i. involve bilateral and multi lateral agencies in our advocacy ii. go on a mass action, that may last for 3 days on its first phase iii. will call on all political parties, youth and women’s group who are opposed to this arrogant posturing by the EC to join forces with AFAG”
That was not all. In a subtle but more direct way of issuing their threat, AFAG had this to say: “Finally we end by making the point that events of December 7 will be just one out of the several processes in our electoral system. To merely focus only on events of that particular day is in itself inimical to the entire process. Consequently, we make a passionate appeal to the Peace Council, all Religious Groups, the National Chief Imam and other Civil Society Groups to make their voices heard now, and also, take a cue from the work of the US institute of peace that; electoral violence are due to systemic and un-resolved grievances which culminate prior, during and after elections. AFAG is thus; inspired by the truth and nothing apart from the truth that, no Ghanaian should face death after exercising his or her civic responsibility.” Indications are that the NPP fears the ruling party stands to benefit more electorally from the newly created constituencies and that is the reason it is hell bent on using every means possible, including employing the help of its affiliate and appendage groups like AFAG to foment trouble in the country. The Mills-led NDC government, in respect of its agenda to develop every nook and cranny of these country, created 42 new districts, in order to speed up the development of the country but the opposition NPP, which has been opposed to the idea of the creation of 45 new constituencies has been fiercely vocal in its efforts to pooh-pooh the reputable Ghanaian Electoral Commission.
Just like the NPP, AFAG’s beef is that the time span between the time the constituencies will become constitutional after the Constitutional Instrument (CI) completes its journey through the 21-day parliamentary incubation and subsequent passing into law.
This has however been described by some as a flimsy excuse by the opposition NPP and its friends who are sparring no effort to sabotage the constitutional process embarked on by the EC.
Former Attorney General under the NPP government is leading a crusade in court against the move by the EC to create the new constituencies.
Former President Kufuor is one of the latest to push the NPP’s opposition to the EC, describing the lawful conduct by it as not being sensible. Ironically, the same EC created 30 new constituencies under Mr Kufuor’s NPP government.
The NPP Minority has also been at the forefront of fighting the EC’s decision to create the constituencies.
“Ladies and gentlemen, creation of new constituencies is not new under the 4th republic. Historical re-call shows that, the 200 constituencies used in the 1992 elections were created in 1991. Also, the additional 30 constituencies used in 2004 elections were created in 2003. The difference between the previous instances and the current situation is the timing of the process. Dr. Afari-Djan, this is simply not right! stated AFAG.