Creation of new regions: Voters’ registration for referendum begins Sunday

Electoral Commission Chairperson, Mrs. Jean Mensa[/caption] The Electoral Commission has set Sunday, September 16 to Tuesday, September 25 for the limited voters’ registration exercise ahead of the upcoming referendum for the creation of six new regions. The registration exercise, which will be done in two phases, will begin with 47 affected districts within the newly proposed regions. Chairperson of the EC, Mrs. Jean Mensa, in a press conference, Friday, explained the phases of the exercises and how registration would be done. “Ahead of the referendum, the country would be zoned into two for the purposes of this exercise. Zone one would affect areas carved out for the referendum and will be held in 47 districts in the proposed six (6) regions. Zone two will comprise the non-affected areas. The limited voter registration exercise will be done online through the commission’s voter management system, the VMS”, she explained. Background President Akufo-Addo. on assuming office received petitions from some chiefs and opinion leaders for the creation of new regions. The President upon receipt of the petitions referred them to the Council of State for their input. After a thorough examination,  the council noted that there was a substantial demand for the creation of new regions. The Justice Brobbey Commission was constituted, in accordance with the Constitution, to probe the petitions further,  which the commission did. Among the recommendations was the need for the Electoral Commission to organize a referendum for the affected people in the affected areas. In the light of this, the commission zoned the country into two zones. Zone one comprises the areas carved out for the referendum, while the zone two is the non-affected areas and set aside September 16 to 25 for the registration of voters. Meanwhile, a pressure group, Strategic Thinkers Network-Africa (STANEK), has sued the government and the Electoral Commission over the proposed plans to create six new regions from the existing 10, describing plans by the EC to organize referendum only in the beneficiary areas as unconstitutional and whimsical. But while acknowledging receipt of the suit, Mrs. Jean Mensah said the suit was without application and therefore cannot be held to be binding as an effective injunction on the commission. She said, “With regard to the suit, it was delivered yesterday but was not with an application and therefore it cannot be held to be binding an effective injunction on the Commission. That is why we are going ahead with the limited registration exercise as planned.”

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