Feature Article of Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Columnist: Hiadzie, Reuben

The creation of 45 new constituencies, what is the Fuss About!

……….. The practice in Ghana is better than the one in the United States of America .

Against lay down constitutional provision, some members of Ghanaian Political Parties and Politicians do not understand why the constitution of Ghana calls for the creation of new constituencies called congressional district in the USA. A Constitutional district is an electoral constituency that elects a single member of a Parliament thereby giving voice to the people he or she represents. Countries with congressional districts include the United States, the Philippines, Japan and of course Ghana. A constitutional district is based on population, which, in the United States, is taken using a census every ten years. As an emerging democracy, Ghana has no choice but to allow democratic institutions such as the Electoral Commission, EC, to exercise its functions without fear or favor! The unnecessary agitations and impediments being placed by self-styled facetious democrats in the NPP against the implementing of the new constituencies is ill timed, self-serving and intended deny these new constituent’s their right to representation in Parliament. How can a democrat refuse the right of the people representation? The EC argued that its decision to create the additional 45 constituencies complies with its constitutional mandate provided for under Article 47(5) of the 1992 Constitution. That law allowed the EC to increase the constituency of Ghana from 200 to the current 230 under the previous NPP administration led by President John Adjekum Kufour. The EC, in spite of the various criticisms mainly by the then main opposition party, NDC, and the obvious fervent support for the creation of the 30 new constituencies by the NPP, went ahead and created the new constituencies. The NDC did not resort to what we see now from the main opposition party, NPP, who are trying to cause mayhem as a result of the EC’s current decision. It appears that the NPP will always want to impose their view and will on Ghanaians even if is unconstitutional and may lead to mobocracy!

The law that authorizes the EC to create the new constituencies makes it possible for Ghanaians of all political affiliations or persuasions to be represented equally in parliament! Who in his right sense of mind fights against that? The law as it is presently applied in Ghana is even far better than in the United States of America, where the political Parties in power, mainly the Republicans and Democrats re-district the congressional districts to serve their party’s interests! In Ghana however, the law allows the EC, not political parties, to re-demarcate new constituencies! There are a few interest groups in the USA who are advocating for the process as it exists in Ghana to be replicated , i.e., allow the electoral boards, not political Parties to do the congressional redistricting!

Some members of in Parliament in Ghana, mainly members of the opposition NPP and other warp minded and self-styled intellectuals, who are supposed to know better, are calling on the President to stop the EC from exercising its constitutional mandate! They were calling on President John Mahama to stop a constitutional process from being carried out?

It is about time the EC and Ghanaians ignore these flippant democrats and allow the constitutional provisions put in place to work for all Ghanaians, especially for those districts who will be deprived of representation if the EC do not act now!