The Electoral Commission on Sunday commenced a limited voter registration exercise in 47 districts to enable eligible Ghanaians to register to vote in a referendum to determine whether the voters support the creation of new regions or not.

The referendum is going to be held following the recommendations by the Commission of Inquiry to create new regions: Western North, Oti, Ahafo, Bono East, Savannah and North East Regions from the existing Western, Volta, Brong-Ahafo and Northern Regions.

Earlier, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry had carried out wide public consultations on the petitions from citizens, traditional rulers and communities in the Western, Volta, Brong-Ahafo and Northern regions on the need to create new regions.

The opening of the limited registration exercise is, therefore, part of the process for Ghanaians resident in the affected regions who have attained 18 years, are of sound mind, have never registered before and are qualified by the laws of the country to register and vote in the referendum.

Already, the EC has commenced publicity to create the much needed public awareness on the all important national exercise and as part of our civic responsibility, we offer to support the public education campaign and urge all citizens of the affected areas to avail themselves, as a matter of civic responsibility, to participate in the democratic process to create new regions.

As citizens, it is part of our civic responsibility to participate in such national electoral activities to give meaning to democratic governance, and in doing so, we owe it a duty to respect and play by the rules of the game as set out by the EC.

Although it is not a partisan political election, political parties have a major role to play by not interfering in the registration exercise, as they may want to take advantage of the situation for their selfish interest.

We urge the political parties’ agents who may want to observe the registration exercise to abide by the instructions of the EC, by avoiding any unnecessary acrimony at the registration centres that may go to undermine the process.

This limited registration exercise, as prelude to the referendum, would determine our resolve to consolidate our electoral machinery and enhance our democratic credentials in the eyes of the international community.

The spotlight of international community would once more be on Ghana and it is important for all to support the exercise to ensure that the re-arrangement of the administrative regions is carried out successfully.

Ironically the exercise is being conducted at the time when a new leadership has emerged at the EC. We trust that they would be up to the task and deliver on their mandate.

We know there would be challenges but they would not be insurmountable. The success of this limited registration, and, the referendum would be an achievement for us all Ghanaians. Let us cooperate with the Commission to achieve the goals we have set out for ourselves.

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