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General News of Thursday, 13 December 2018


Don’t interfere in new regions referendum – CDD to government

The Center for Democratic Development (CDD) has cautioned government against interference in the referendum process for the creation of the new regions.

The center has also asked that the EC to manage the referendum process in accordance with the principles of free, fair and credible elections.

The CDD made this call in a presser made available to Wednesday.

The statement said “CDD-Ghana, however, wants to caution government and its agencies against any interference in the referendum process which will undermine the integrity of the polls."

"It is critical that the Commission collaborates with relevant security agencies to ensure that the environment of the referendum is without fear and intimidation, and that the results of the elections will be a true reflection of the people who took part in the elections."

In the next two weeks, as the nation prepares for the exercise “CDD-Ghana calls on the Ghana Police Service to ensure maximum protection for all citizens regardless of their position on the referendum issue."

“Given the concerns and interests aroused since the announcement by government to create new regions, and recent media reports on reservations and opposition to the proposal, particularly in parts of the Volta and Northern regions of the country, CDD-Ghana is calling on the EC to step up public education and sensitization on the referendum, particularly with regards to voting arrangements and procedures, to enable qualified voters to make the right decisions."

“The people in the affected areas have the right to know what their voting options (a Yes or No vote) mean and the full implications of either votes. In this regard, CDD-Ghana recognizes the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, including civil society/community-based organizations, in carrying out peaceful sensitization activities,” the statement said.

The statement further noted that “The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has followed the discourse and recent developments surrounding the proposal to create six new regions."

"We note in particular, the unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court of Ghana which dismissed a suit brought before it by three individuals challenging the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to allow only residents in the affected areas instead of the entire region to vote in the referendum."

“The suit had also sought clarity on who qualified to vote in the referendum, specifically in relation to the creation of the Oti Region. CDD-Ghana also took notice of the maturation in Parliament of Constitutional Instrument (Cl) 109 which will regulate the conduct of the impending referendum scheduled for December 27, 2018."

It added “by these two developments, the EC has a clear path to conduct the referendum in the affected parts of the country. The referendum will be the first of such under the country’s current democratic dispensation. The Center has also noted with gratification, the publication by government of the full report of the Justice Brobbey Committee following a directive by the President to that effect. This is consistent with the good governance practice of transparency and citizens’ right to public information."