A Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Osei Bonsu Amoah, has entreated Ghanaians to ignore vile propaganda by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the creation of new constituencies across the country.
First Deputy Minority Whip in Parliament, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed claimed that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) was compelling the Electoral Commission (EC) to create 25 new constituencies ahead of the 2020 general election.
He told journalists in Parliament that the EC will be creating 17 constituencies in the NPP stronghold of the Ashanti region with the rest going to the other regions.
According to him, the NPP has failed Ghanaians miserably with its “sweet heart campaign promises and that the governing party is relying on the EC to support them to rig the election so it will remain in power at all cost”.
However, responding to the allegations, Mr Amoah who is also the MP for Akwapim South said it was highly reckless for a leader in Parliament to claim that the governing NPP was controlling the EC in the performance of its functions.
He pointed out that the EC has the constitutional mandate to create new constituencies as the law provides and not subject to the control of any government.
“It’s ridiculous for a leader in Parliament to claim that 17 additional constituencies will be created in one region. “We should be responsible in our utterances to protect the safety and security of the nation. We should use our status as leaders to educate the people on what is right and not to spread unfounded and alarming stories”, Mr Amoah stated in an interview with The Custodian newspaper.
Article 47 (1) of the 1992 Constitution states that “Ghana shall be divided into as many constituencies for the purpose of election of Members of Parliament as the Electoral Commission may prescribe, and each constituency shall be presented by one Member of Parliament”.
Again, Article 47 (5) states that “The Electoral Commission shall review the division of Ghana into constituencies at intervals of not less than seven years, or within twelve months after the publication of the enumeration figures after the holding of a census of the population of Ghana, whichever is earlier, and may as a result alter the constituencies”.
The EC created the 45 constituencies in June 2012 under the NDC administration increasing the number of seats in Parliament from 230 to 275 ahead of that year’s general election, which is about seven years now.
Per Article 47 (5) of the constitution, the EC is legally obliged to review the division of Ghana into constituencies.
The First Deputy Minority Whip had claimed the creation of new constituencies could be a problem for Parliament, because according to him, the chamber of the House is already congested.
He said until a new Chamber was built, the current Chamber housing the 275 lawmakers lacked enough space to accommodate additional 25 members.