Residents looking up to the proposed Western North Region can start partying after clearing the first hurdle to become an autonomous region having obtained a massive vote for YES.
They needed at least 200,522 YES votes for the creation of the region in Thursday’s referendum but ended up with 322,048 YES votes from 9 districts after a 65% voter turnout, according to the provisional results obtained by our correspondent Eric Yaw Adjei.
Results, as declared by the Electoral Commission supervising the referendum in the region recorded 322,048 votes for YES, 751 for NO and 789 rejected ballots. In all 323, 588 people turned up to vote in the Western North exercise.
With 1001 polling centres and 501,306 registered voters, about 250,653 representing 50% voter turnout were expected to vote in the referendum to pave way for the creation of the Western North Region.
The Western North region that would consist of nine districts is being carved out of the Western Region. The Districts are: Suaman, Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai [Municial], Bia East, Sefwi-Wiawso and Sefwi-Akontombra. The rest are: Juaboso, Bia west, Bodi and Aowin [Municipal].
The December 27, 2018 referendum in four regions – Brong Ahafo, Northern, Volta and Western – is the first under Ghana’s 1992 constitution.
Ahafo, Bono East, Oti, Western North, Savannah and North East are the new regions the government is seeking to create to deepen decentralization by bringing development closer to the people in those areas who some of who have complained of underdevelopment over the years.
If all the proposed regions get the required YES votes for the referendum, there will now be 16 administrative regions in Ghana.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Budget and Economic Policy has allocated twenty million Ghana cedis (GH¢20,000,000.00) per new region as seed money for the provision of critical infrastructure to enable the new regions to take off smoothly.
Article 5(6) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana states that “an issue referred for determination by referendum under clauses (4) and (5) shall not be taken to be determined by the referendum unless at least fifty percent of the persons entitled to vote cast their votes at the referendum, and of the votes cast at least eighty per cent were cast in favour of that issue”.
Should the results of the referendum be favourable for the creation of new regions, the President is enjoined by Article 5(8) of the 1992 Constitution to issue a CI giving effect or enabling effect to the results of the referendum for the creation of new regions.
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana