The Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, has revealed his ministry has been engaging with the Electoral Commission(EC), led by Mrs Charlotte Osei, on the way forward in the creation of new regions.
The creation of six new regions is a campaign promise by the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government. In accordance with Article 5(2) of the Constitution, the President appointed a “commission of enquiry to enquire into the demand and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration” of the new regions.
According to the minister in a telephone chat, their engagements with the EC were necessitated by the fact that the EC would organise the referendum, should the commission of enquiry recommend one.
“By the end of next week, we expect that the commission [of Enquiry] will present their report to the President and once they do that, Article 5(5) says Mr President will refer the recommendations, that’s if they recommend that there should be a referendum, to the Electoral Commission (EC), who will then organise the referendum,” he explained.
Following the setting up of a five-member committee by the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to investigate the alleged abuse of power and corruption scandal that rocked the EC, many wondered if the EC was still functional.
But Mr Botwe clarified his ministry had been dealing with the EC regardless of the scandals that had rocked it.
“People talk about that [No Electoral Commission] , but I have been dealing with the Electoral Commission,” he noted.
He explained that the EC was still functional and all officials were at post, and that their engagements so far had been fruitful.
“We have had meetings. I wrote officially to the Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Charlotte Osei. She minuted it because the Deputy Chair of Operations, Amadu Sulley, informed us that Ms Charlotte Osei, had minuted it to him, and that he and the technical [team] had done their works and would come to meet us and they met us.
“As far as we are concerned, we have been dealing with the Chair of the Electoral Commission(EC) and the staff of the Electoral Commission,” he emphasised.