Parliament adopts report on C.I. for the creation of new regions


Parliament has adopted the report of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee on the Referendum (Creation of new regions) Regulations, 2018, (Constitutional Instrument 109).


The report, presented by the the Committee Chairman and Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mr. Mahama Ayariga at the Plenary, stated that his Committee was satisfied with the report of Justice Brobbey’s Commission of Inquiry in the creation of the six new regions.

Moving for the motion on the report, Mr. Ayariga pointed out that the Committee referred to the 1992 Constitution, the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Referendum Act 1977 (SMCD 143) and the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Creation of the New Regions as reference documents during deliberations.

He further explained that the Committee met with the Deputy Electoral Commissioner in Charge of Operations and other Officials of the Electoral Commission.

Explaining to members on the floor of the House about the Committee’s work on the C.I. 109, Mr. Ayariga stated that the Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr. Dan Botwe and some officials of the Ministry were in attendance during the consideration of the Instrument, and some officials from the Drafting Division of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice were also in attendance to assist the Committee in its deliberations.

He however, emphasised that invitation extended to representatives of the various political parties, was only honoured by the Convention People’s Party (CPP).

Observations of the Committee in the report

The Committee observed that the Constitutional Instrument provides for the areas where the referendum are to be held.

A person who intends to vote at the referendum must qualify as a registered voter in the areas where the referendum would be held. The register of voters of all polling stations in those areas shall be the register for voting in the referendum.

The Committee noted that prior to the conduct of the referendum, the Electoral Commission would first issue a Writ of Referendum to each Returning Officer concerned. The Writ shall specify the places where the referendum shall be held as well as the date, time and the issue to be determined at the Referendum.

The Regional Returning Officer shall then issue a Notice of Referendum throughout the places where the referendum is to be held in a manner determined by the Electoral Commission.

The notice shall specify the place, the date and the time for the referendum. The Commission is to assign symbol, colour or combination of colours for the issues to be determined by the referendum.

The designated places to be used as polling stations for the referendum shall be published in the gazette.

Recommendation by the Committee

The Committee examined the Constitutional Instrument within the ambit of the general objects of the Constitution and is of the view that the coming of the Constitutional Instrument would pave the way for the Electoral Commission to conduct the referendum for the creation of the proposed six regions.

The Committee accordingly recommended to the House to adopt its Report and allow the referendum to come into force at the expiration of twenty-one sitting days of Parliament in accordance with Article 11(7) of the Constitution.

Petitions and Commission on the creation of new regions

Some citizens and interest groups petitioned President Akufo-Addo, requesting for the creation of new regions out of some existing regions. The President, upon receipt of the petitions, forwarded them to the Council of State for advice.

The Council of State endorsed the request for the creation of the regions. On the advice of the Council, the President in October 2017 appointed a nine-member Commission of Inquiry chaired by Justice Stephen A. Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court Judge, to further examine the petitions.

The Commission of Inquiry, in its Report submitted to the President on June 26, 2018, affirmed that there was a substantial demand for the creation of the six new Regions, namely, Western North, Bono East, Ahafo, Savannah, North East and Oti Regions.

The Report recommended areas where a Referendum should be held for the creation of the regions.

Consequently, the President referred the recommendations to the Electoral Commission to conduct a Referendum in accordance with Article 5(5) of the Constitution.

The Electoral Commission, in Article 51 of the Constitution, is mandated to prescribe Regulations for the conduct of public elections and referenda, among others. Hence, the introduction of the C.I. on the referendum to Parliament.

The C.I. was laid before Parliament on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 in accordance with Article 11(7) of the Constitution.

Pursuant to Orders 77 and 166 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, referred the Instrument to the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation for consideration and report.

Source: GhanaJustice/S.Ayisi


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here