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General News of Sunday, 23 December 2018

Source: ghananewsagency.org

All is set for December 27 referendum

All is set for the December 27 referendum on the creation of six new regions, Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), has said.

She said the election was being conducted for eligible voters to decide whether the six proposed regions: Ahafo, Bono East, Savannah, North East, Oti and Western should be created as new regions or not.

She said the issues for determination at the referendum, as required by law, were whether those voters supported the creation of a particular proposed region or not.

She noted that eligible voters would be expected to vote for or against the question for example “Are you in favour of the creation of the Region? Yes or No.

“The associated ballot colour for Yes on each ballot paper is Yellow, and that of No is Brown. Registered voters within the proposed regions are to thumbprint in the portion provided on each ballot paper by voting Yes or No and not both,” she said.

Speaking at a press briefing on the EC’s preparations towards the referendum, Mrs Mensa said a total of 2,260,724 voters were expected to vote at the 4,798 polling stations of the proposed areas.

She said voting would start at 0700 hours and end at 1700 hours at all the 4,978 polling stations of the referendum enclaves.

“No voter will be allowed to join the queue after 1700 hours, however, all persons in the queue at 1700 hours would be allowed to vote.”

She said all items and materials needed for all activities in relation to the referendum had been procured and dispatched to the affected regions and districts.

Mrs Mensa said the register of voters for the referendum had been printed and were being dispatched to the affected regions and districts.

She said Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs) to be used in the referendum had been refurbished and that each polling station would have two BVDs.

Mrs Mensa noted that in addition, provisions have been made for back-ups at the regional and district offices of the EC.

“All BVDs meant for the referendum have been dispatched to the affected regions and districts,” she said.

On the application for vote transfer and proxy, Mrs Mensa said at the end of the exercise, 6,076 and 52 voters were successful in applying for the transfer and proxy vote respectively.

Special Voting (Early Voting) would take place on Monday, December 24, at the 48 Special Voting Centres in the districts of the carved areas.

The Special Voting List for the various polling stations had been compiled and 10,127 eligible voters were expected to vote at the 48 Special Voting Centres in the districts of the carved areas, Mrs Mensa said.

She said Regional Returning Officers of the six proposed areas would add up all results of the districts in a particular carved area and declare the results of the referendum at the Regional Referendum Centre.

The Constitutional threshold requires that at least 50 per cent of the eligible voters must cast their votes at the referendum and of the votes cast, 80 per cent must be in four of the proposed creation of the new regions.

It would be recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo submitted the findings and recommendations of the Justice Brobbey Commission to the EC recommending the creation of six new regions.