The creation of new regions as promised by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) will not be an easy task due to the required voter turnout in the referendum, a deputy chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), in charge of Operations, Amadu Sulley, has said.
Mr. Sulley has anticipated a major challenge in the sense that the 69.2 per cent voter turnout recorded during the 2016 general elections was rather low.
He explained that more than 50 per cent of the voting population was needed to turn up at the referendum, out of which over 80 per cent must vote their approval.
“If you want to go into that, there is the need for a referendum. Now the voter turnout is around 69.2 per cent, and if I look back at our elections, there was a time that we even recorded 29 per cent and 54 per cent. So let us think seriously about that.
Voter turnout is key and civil society must help,” he noted at a Star Ghana and partners’ review event on election 2016 in Accra on Thursday.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has given indications that four (4) new regions would be created beginning 2018 to bring the total number of regions in the country to fourteen (14).
To achieve this, the president has created a new ministry known as the Ministry for Regional Re-organisation and Development headed by Dan Kwaku Botwe, a former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party and Member of Parliament for Okere Constituency.
Justifying why there was the need for the creation of the new ministry, President Nana Akufo- Addo explained that “the process of devolution of power will require that we look again at the regional structures of our country, all with the aim of trying to promote rapid development of Ghana.
“But the constitutional requirements for being able to create a region are very stringent and not easy.”
During the campaign for the 2016 general election, then presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo promised the people of the Western Region that when he is given the nod, he would initiate the creation of a new region out of the Western Region, to be called Western North Region.
On Wednesday January 11, 2017 however the president hinted of the creation of three additional regions.