General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed confidence in the newly appointed commissioners of the Electoral Commission to conduct a peaceful and transparent referendum for the creation of six new regions in the country.
The president said that “I pray and expect that the voting will go on peacefully” – adding that “There can be no excuse for any disturbance or violence.”
The six proposed new regions for the referenda are Oti, Bono East, Western North, Ahafo, Savannah and North East.
Speaking at an encounter with the media, the president said: “In a week’s time, the referenda will take place to decide if we should have six new regions. People have put in all the hard work to bring us thus far and I trust that the new leadership of the Electoral Commission will pass well, their first test of organizing a free, fair, transparent poll.
“I pray and expect that the voting will go on peacefully. There can be no excuse for any disturbance or violence. The people who seek new regions are not seeking to [break away] from Ghana, they are Ghanaian citizens who are seeking new administrative structures to guide their lives by a constitutional process within the Ghanaian space.
“The Supreme Court has unanimously confirmed the validity and validated the propriety of the process. Let us then leave them in peace to have their day and see whether they can satisfy the high constitutional threshold for the creation of new regions.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, on 19 October 2017, inaugurated a nine-member Commission of Inquiry to look into the viability or otherwise of the creation of new regions which was a campaign promise of the NPP and the then candidate, Akufo-Addo in the 2016 elections.
For the creation of the new regions, at least 50 per cent of the persons entitled to vote must vote in each of the different referenda, and of the votes cast, at least 80 per cent must be in favour of the creation of a region for the demand to succeed.