Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of EC
The Electoral Commission (E.C) will today, lay a corrected version of the Representation of People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument, 2012 (C.I 73) in Parliament to bring into effect the creation of 45 new parliamentary constituencies in the country.
This would replace the current C.I 73 which, according to a report by the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation of Parliament, contained a number of errors, omissions and misplacement of electoral areas.
The E.C would, therefore withdraw the current C.I. 73, which was laid on July 17, before the corrected version is laid.
The new version was scheduled to be laid before Parliament yesterday but the Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka, deferred the laying of the Instrument for some corrections to be made.
He said the corrected version of the C.I 73 also contained some minor mistakes and entreated the members to assist in making all the necessary correction for it to be laid today.
The Speaker of Parliament, Mrs. Joyce Bamford-Addo, urged the leadership of the House to ensure that the necessary mistakes were corrected before the new C.I is laid, adding that the House would “not make the mistake of replacing mistakes with mistakes”.
As at press time yesterday, the Majority and Minority sides, as well as the various regional caucuses of the House were deliberating on the corrected version of C.I 73 to thrash out all mistakes before the Instrument is laid today.
The C.I 73, when laid today, would revoke the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) Instrument, 2004 (C.I 46) and create the legal framework for the E.C to increase the number of constituencies in the country from 230 to 275.
With the creation of new constituencies, parliamentary seats in the Ashanti Region would increase from 39 to 47, Brong Ahafo from 24 to 29, Central Region from 19 to 23, and Greater Accra from 28 to 33.
Constituencies in the Northern Region would increase from 26 to 31, the Upper West Region from 13 to 15, the Upper West from 10 to 11, Volta from 22 to 26, and Western Region from 22 to 26.
However, the report by the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation indicated that the C.I 73, which was to create the legal framework for the creation of the new constituencies, when passed in its current state, “will result in a myriad of legal challenges, conflicts and disenfranchisement of registered voters and potentially disturb the peace of the electoral process and the nation”
It said candidates in electoral areas which had been omitted from the current C.I 73 may not be able to contest the forthcoming elections.
However, it is expected that the new C.I 73, to be laid on the floor of the House today would address such errors.