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A-G proffers solution to SALL’s right to vote

BY: Samuel Duodu
Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame
Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, has stated that what can be done for the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) to have a representation in the current Parliament is for the annulment of the 2020 Buem parliamentary election and the revocation of the Legislative Instrument (L.I) 2416 that established the Guan District.

According to him, even if the Constitutional Instrument (C.I) 128 to create a new Guan Constituency for the people of SALL was laid before Parliament and it came into force in accordance with clause 7 of Article 11, they could only vote in the 2024 parliamentary election.

Question

Mr Dame stated that in response to a question asked on the floor of Parliament last Wednesday by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Buem in the Oti Region, Mr Kofi Iddie Adams.

He wanted to know the status of the Draft Constitutional Instrument for the creation of a constituency for Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe Traditional Areas.

The people of SALL who were then part of the Volta Region but now with the Oti Region following the creation of that region could not exercise their franchise in the 2020 parliamentary election to elect an MP to represent them in the current Parliament.

That development necessitated the creation of a new constituency for the SALL areas called the Guan Constituency by the Electoral Commission ( EC) but could not materialise before Parliament went on recess for the December 7, 2020 elections on November 9,2020.

Genesis

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice noted that the problems of the SALL people began in November, 2020, when Parliament allowed the Local Government ( Guan District Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument,2020 (L.I. 2416) for the creation of the Guan District which had been laid before Parliament on Tuesday, October 6,2020 to come into effect.

He added that on Monday, November 9, 2020 ( less than a month before the December 2020 elections), L.I. 2416 came into force after having satisfied the Constitutional prerequisite of being laid before Parliament for 21 sitting days and same had not been annulled by Parliament.

Anomaly

To resolve the anomaly, he said the EC, in its quest to ensure a due exercise of the franchise by the people of SALL, proceeded to take steps to create a constituency for the areas forming part of the newly created Guan District by amending the Representation of the People ( Parliamentary Constituencies) Regulations, 2020 (C.I. 128), as well as the District Electoral Areas and Designations of Units Regulations,2019 (C.I.119) copies of the draft Constitutional Instruments were submitted to the office of the Attorney General by correspondence dates November 13, 2020.

He said based on the advice of the office of the Attorney General by a letter dated November 18, 2020 to the EC, it began the processes for the creation of the new constituency but that could not materialise as Parliament went on recess for the December, 2020 elections on November 9, 2020 ( the same day that the L.I. creating the Guan District-L.I. 2416, came into effect).