EC lays C.I. for creation of Guan constituency
The Electoral Commission (EC) has laid a Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) before Parliament for the creation of the Guan Constituency in the Oti Region.
The C.I. when passed by Parliament will enable the people of the Guan Constituency, which comprises of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) Traditional Areas, to vote in the 2024 parliamentary election to have a representation in the next Parliament on January 7, 2025.
The Director of Electoral Services of the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, who made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, said all stakeholder engagements for the creation of the constituency had been concluded.
He said the people of SALL had agreed that the name of the constituency should be Guan and the capital Likpe-Mate, the same as the district and the capital.
The people of SALL in the 2020 general election voted in the presidential election but could not take part in the parliamentary election as there was not enough time for the EC to place the C.I. before Parliament for the creation of the constituency.
Dr Quaicoe said this time round, all the preparations needed, including the engagements and pre-laying stage had been concluded and when Parliament resumed sitting, the 21 days required would be met for the C.I for the creation of the Guan constituency to be passed by December 2023.
That, he said, would enable the people of SALL to vote in the 2024 parliamentary election to have a representation in Parliament.
Throwing some light on the reason the people of SALL could not vote in the parliamentary election in 2020, Dr Quaicoe said although the Guan district assembly was created in November 2020, there was not enough time for the EC to place the C.I before Parliament prior to the general election in December.
“Because of this, the constituency was unable to come into full force, leaving the people without a parliamentary vote and subsequently representation,” he said.
“Let us also understand that once you are creating a constituency, you have to pass a C.I to establish it. And every C.I should be before Parliament for 21 sitting days before it can pass.
So automatically if you establish a district in November, there’s no way you can have the 21 days passing before. That’s why they couldn’t vote for the parliamentary. But the presidential, they voted,” Dr Quaicoe explained.
Voter exhibition exercise
Dr Quaicoe said every district had a unique code and therefore the Guan District would be given a new code.
Consequently, the Director of Electoral Services said the people of SALL had to be issued with new voter ID cards with a new code, saying the new cards had been printed and sent to the EC district office for collection.
He added that the remaining cards if not collected would be sent to the polling stations during the upcoming nationwide voter exhibition exercise that would take place on November 3 to 9, 2023 across the 38,622 polling stations for the people to go and cross check their names on the register during which the people of SALL would go with their old voter ID cards for the new ones.
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 EC but could not materialise before Parliament went on recess for the December 7, 2020 elections on November 9, 2020.