Reports reaching Daily Guide indicate that the Electoral Commission (EC) is on the verge of creating 45 more constituencies, as against 20 earlier reported.
Though anticipated following the creation of 42 new districts, in addition to the recent Housing and Population Census, the 45 constituencies have set tongues wagging as to the motive of the EC which had earlier ruled out the possibility of mass constituencies.
A contentious subject since the idea was mooted, following the announcement of more districts by the Mills government, opponents of the idea saw in it a veiled attempt to gerrymander existing electoral boundaries.
The anticipated figure regarding the new constituencies was initially put at 20 but this figure witnessed a revision and now the figure of 45 as gathered. By this action, the existing number of constituencies of 230 will appreciate to 275, an adjustment of the parliamentary budget.
Dr. Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the EC, will go overdrive in addressing the concerns of political observers as they question the likely breach of the law.
The creation of new constituencies, as demanded by law, is contingent upon the outcome of the housing and population census but with these data not yet ready, it is feared that the EC Chairman has acted illegally. Having earlier stated that he would create more constituencies in as much as government outdoored more districts, he could be standing on a firm premise even as he is rebuked on the point of law.
Political cynics are also demanding the criteria which informed the creation of the constituencies even though one of these is the appreciation of districts.
Scanty details about the creation so far gleaned by DAILY GUIDE point at the Ashanti Region getting 9, Greater Accra Region with the largest population being blessed with 7 and Volta Region, 5.
When the EC hosted a Mozambican government delegation earlier in the year, the Deputy Commissioner of the EC, Kwadwo Sarfo Kantanka, spoke about the possibility of increasing the number of constituencies, given what he said is the increase in the population, although according to him the results are not yet out. ï¿½We have not taken the decision to increase the constituencies as yet but we are all aware that the population has increased. We are waiting for the official census figures and as soon as we get it, the EC will determine how new constituencies would be created,ï¿½ Kwadwo Sarfo Kantanka said.
When it comes to the creation of constituencies and polling stations, he pointed out that ï¿½no authority tells us what to do. We do it based on the population figures available.ï¿½
But with this unavailable, it is unfathomable what criteria they intend to use. ï¿½The last time we made such a move, we increased the number of constituencies from 200 to 230. The power to create more constituencies has been given to us so we decide what is best for the country.ï¿½
The foregone sounds ironic when juxtaposed against the Afari-Gyan position, as such creations are dependent upon the creation of districts.
Source: A.R. Gomda/D-Guide
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