Don’t interfere in referendum on new regions–CDD

Dr Kojo Asante, Research Fellow, CDD

Dr Kojo Asante, Research Fellow, CDD

The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), has cautioned government against interference in the referendum process for the creation of the new regions.

It has also asked the Electoral Commission (EC) to manage the referendum process in accordance with the principles of free, fair and credible elections.

In a statement issued in Accra the CDD said “however, wants to caution government and its agencies against any interference in the referendum process which will undermine the integrity of the polls.

“It is critical that the commission collaborates with relevant security agencies to ensure the environment of the referendum is without fear and intimidation, and the results of the elections will be true reflection of the people who took part in the elections.

“In two weeks, as the nation prepares for the exercise the Police Service should ensure maximum protection for the citizenry regardless of their position on issues of the referendum.

“Given the concerns and interests aroused since the announcement by government to create new regions, recent reservations and opposition to the proposal, particularly in parts of the Volta and Northern regions, the EC should step up public education and sensitisation on the referendum, with regards to voting arrangements and procedures, to enable qualified voters to make right decisions.

“The people in the affected areas have the right to know what their voting options (a Yes or No vote) mean and full implications of either vote, recognise roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, in carrying out peaceful sensitisation activities.

The statement further noted that, “The CDD has followed the discourse and recent developments surrounding the proposal to create six new regions, the unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court which dismissed a suit brought before it by three individuals challenging the decision of the EC to allow only residents in the affected areas instead of the entire region to vote in the referendum.

“The suit has also sought clarity on who qualified to vote in the referendum, in relation to the creation of the Oti Region, took notice of the maturation in parliament of the constitutional instrument 109 which will regulate the conduct of impending referendum scheduled for December 27, 2018.

“By the two developments, the EC has a clear path to conduct the referendum in the affected parts of the country will be the first of such under democratic dispensation, noted with gratification, the publication by the government of the full report of the Justice Brobbey Committee following a directive by the President to that effect, consistent with good governance practice of transparency and citizens’ right to public information,” the statement noted. –starrfmonline.com

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