Creation of new constituencies on our agenda but not now – EC
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, Jean Mensa, has denied the creation of new constituencies although she admits that it is on the agenda of the Commission since it is part of its mandate.
“I’m sure nothing stops the Commission from considering or creating new constituencies and this is an issue on our agenda but we’ve seen reports in the public domain and we can say for a fact that this is not coming from the Commission. The Commission has not met to consider it. Those figures and information put there are not true and we ask the public to disregard it”, she told journalists in an interview, Monday, moments after appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
The First Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim, had told some members of the Parliamentary Press Corps in an interview, Friday, April 26, 2019, that the electoral management body was in the process of reviewing the country’s constituencies to make room for additional 25 constituencies for the December 7, 2020 general elections.
According to him, per pieces of information he has gathered, the EC would create 25 more constituencies, with the Ashanti Region along getting about 17 new constituencies.
For instance, he said the Asawase Constituency currently being occupied by the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak-Muntaka, would be split into two constituencies.
The remaining would be distributed to other regions, including the newly created six regions for the 2020 general elections.
Hon. Ibrahim further revealed that the Bimbilla Constituency in the Northern Region would also be divided into two constituencies, Bimbilla North and South.
He then cautioned that the creation of the new constituencies could cause problems in the already congested Chamber of the Parliament of Ghana and called on the EC to do further consultation and assessment of the situation on the ground before reaching the decision to create new constituencies.
However, in her response, Madam Jean Mensa, described as false claims to create additional constituencies.
“That is a total lie. It’s not come up. To be honest, this has not even been discussed. The Commission has the right to look at the creation of new constituencies and when you talk about that, you have to assess our constituencies and so a lot of work goes into it and it is something that we are applying a lot of work bringing to bear good practices and best practices. It is not just to say we are creating new constituencies.”
When asked whether it is necessary to create new constituencies, the EC Chairperson retorted “when the time comes – when we’ve done our assessment that we will know because you will find certain constituencies have very large numbers and some has small so these are things that we have to consider but there is no rush”.
She said the EC is currently engaged in setting up offices and preparing towards the conduct of the District Assembly level elections and referendum and therefore has not in any way discussed the creation of new constituencies.