The Electoral Commission (EC) says it will go ahead with the creation of additional constituencies despite protests by some political parties and other civil society groups over the timing.
Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, Chairman of the EC, said the Commission has a constitutional obligation to perform regardless of the time left for the conduct of the 2012 general elections.
He was addressing the opening of a day’s capacity building workshop for political party leaders in the Ashanti Region in Kumasi, on Monday.
He noted that the EC would be defaulting in the discharge of a duty imposed on it by the constitution if it failed to review and create new constituencies before the polls.
“Whether the parties want it or not there is a constitutional obligation and the EC is going to do that whether the time is short or not. The EC is not going to play with the wishes of political parties”, he stated.
Dr Afari Gyan also hinted that they were contemplating organizing a by-election in the Wulensi constituency following the death of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area.
The capacity building workshop is one of two engagements of the EC with party leaders across the country ahead the elections.
These are meant to deepen their understanding of the electoral system, create mutual appreciation of the relationship between the EC and the parties and to remove any misconceptions about the EC’s strong room.
The EC Chairman gave assurance that verification machines would be provided in all polling centres in the December elections.
Over 23,000 technicians are going to receive hands-on training to make them more familiar with the machines to prevent some of the technical challenges experienced during the biometric voter registration exercise.
Dr Afari Gyan reminded the political parties about the need to play their expected roles effectively to ensure the successful conduct of the elections.
Mr Michael Ohene Effah, a representative of the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID), said Ghana’s successful conduct of four elections makes it a beacon of democracy and good governance in Africa.
The UK government has voted £3 million to help the EC conduct free, fair and transparent elections that would be accepted by all parties.
It would continue to work closely with the EC to ensure a level political playing field for all the parties and build on the successes achieved over the years.
Mr Samuel Tetteh, Ashanti Regional Director, said it was important for all stakeholders to accept to work together to make the elections transparent and credible.