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General News of Friday, 18 May 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Minority demands detailed plan for creation of new regions

The Minority is demanding an elaborate plan from the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Finance Ministry for the conduct of the referendum for the creation of new regions.

According to Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the Electoral Commission must exhibit a high level of preparedness before the conduct of such crucial polls.

A planned meeting of the Commission of Inquiry for the creation of new regions and MPs for the four areas under consideration has been postponed to Tuesday. Speaking on the floor of the House today [Friday], Haruna Iddrisu indicated that it would be appropriate for the House to be briefed on the state of the EC’s preparedness

“The Electoral Commission will have to be prepared and prepare in advance to give meaning to the President’s vision to create additional regions. Their I.T infrastructure has to be updated. They need to get their bio-data improved and other logistics. They have to prepare ahead of time. We will think that the Minister for Finance together with the Electoral Commission must also give us a plan as to how they intend to walk through the process of conducting the national referendum.”

The government’s decision to set up the commission was in response to petitions made for the possible creation of the new regions.

President Nana Akufo-Addo referred petitions from Chiefs and organisations of the named regions to the Council of State for advice, which were approved.

The Commission’s Terms of Reference is set out in paragraph 4 of C.I. 105.

It is to make recommendations to the President, based on its findings, on the creation of a region or alteration of regional boundaries; and to specify the issues to be determined by referendum and the places where the referendum should be held, where it makes recommendations for the creation of new regions and alteration of regional boundaries.

The nine-member Commission, which is chaired by Justice S.A. Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court Judge includes Dr Grace Bediako, former Government Statistician; Maulvi Mohammed Bin-Salih, Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, former Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology and Ms. Gladys Tetteh, a local governance expert.

The rest are Mr Robert Ajene, a retired Director of Education; Dr David Wellington Essaw, a senior research fellow of the University of Cape Coast; Prof. George Owusu, Director for the Centre for Urban Management Studies of the University of Ghana and Ms Josephine Hughes, a legal practitioner.