The Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe, has revealed his ministry has been engaging with the Electoral Commission led by Charlotte Osei on the way forward to creating 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 inquiry to inquire into the demand and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration” of the new regions.
Speaking exclusively to TV3’s Parliamentary correspondent, Evelyn Tengmaa, the Minister said, their engagements with the EC were necessitated by the fact that the EC will organize the referendum, should the commission of inquiry recommend one.
“By the end of next week we expect that the Commission [of Inquiry] will present their report to the President and once they do that Article 5(5) says that Mr. President will refer the recommendations, that’s if they recommend that there should be a referendum, to the Electoral Commission who will then organize the referendum”, he explained.
Following the setting up of a five-member committee by the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to investigate alleged abuse of power and corruption scandal that have rocked the EC, many wondered if the EC is still functional.
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But Dan Botwe clarified his ministry has been dealing with the Commission regardless the scandals that have rocked it.
“People talk about that [No Electoral Commission] , but I have been dealing with the Electoral Commission”, he noted.
He explained the EC is still functional and all officials are at post and that their engagements so far have been fruitful.
“We have had meetings, I wrote officially to the Chairperson of the commission, Ms Charlotte Osei, she minuted it because the deputy Chair of operations, Amadu Sulley informed us Ms Charlotte Osei, has minuted it to him and he and the technical [team] have done their works and will come to meet us and they met us.”
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He maintained there are no doubts about the existence of the Commission.
“As far as we are concerned, we have been dealing with the Chair of the Electoral Commission and the staff of the Electoral Commission,” he emphasized.