The Constitutional Instrument (CI) for the creation of the Guan District matured on Friday, November 6, 2020, paving the way for the creation of the new district, with the areas that make up the Guan district are the 4 now popular townships of Santrofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL).
The area was originally part of the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta Region, but was included in the Oti region upon the creation of the six new regions in Ghana and this by law, excludes the four traditional areas from the Hohoe constituency where it was previously part of before the new regions were created.
Article 47 (2) provides that no constituency shall fall within more than one region and since Hohoe (in the Volta region) and the Guan District which is to be created for the people of SALL (in Oti region) now fall under two different regions, the Guan district can no longer be part of the Hohoe constituency. Though the area was part of the Buem constituency, with the creation of the new district, the EC was under obligation to create a new constituency to give the people a representation in the 8th parliament.
However, this was not done before the December, 7 general elections. A day before the elections on Sunday December 6, 2020, the EC had issued a statement directing that eligible voters in the Guan District could only take part in the presidential election, but not in the parliamentary election. “As a result of the creation of the Guan District Local Government (Guan District Assembly) Instrument, 2020 and pending the creation of the Guan Constituency, eligible voters in the Guan District will vote only in the Presidential Election but not in the Parliamentary Election in the Buem Constituency,” the statement read in part.
Consequently, the people of the Guan District could not elect a Member of Parliament to represent them in the 8th parliament which takes effect on January 7, 2021. Whereas many NDC people have mounted claims that, it was a bigger ploy to have enabled Hon. Peter Amenu to have won the Hohoe Elections, Hon. John Peter Amewu, has confidently rather stated that in the just-ended elections, he would have still won his seat if some areas exempted from voting were included in the elections.
He debunked the claims that the residents of those areas were not made to vote so that he could win the seat for the NPP. Amewu stated that in 2004 and 2008, those four mentioned areas were his strongholds, and if they had voted, he would have even won with a higher margin. He made this known when he appeared before Parliament’s Appointment Committee on Wednesday, February 24. Amewu won the seat with 26,952 votes in his third attempt while his National Democratic Congress (NDC) opponent, Margaret Kweku, polled 21,821 votes.
Fast forward, one of the people mounting a strong defense for the people of SALL, is Kwaku Azar, a well respected Lawyer, Accountant and Professor and in a Facebook post, he has reiterated the actions taken so far, to help correct this anomaly, besides his consistent social media advocacy. In the Facebook post by Prof Kwaku Azar, he writes that:
"On January 21, 2021 we wrote to the EC demanding that affirmative steps be taken to seat SALL in Parliament by February 28, 2021. Almost 3 scores and 8 days have passed since that letter and the EC has not shown any interest in acknowledging and atoning for its sin, representing an unusual and unprecedented disdain and lack of concern for SALL citizens.
We use this medium to, once again, draw the EC’s attention to this cardinal sin and appeal to them, for the umpteenth time, to take urgent steps to fix this problem, which we will not allow to become just one of those unacceptable things that we must accept because we are Ghanafuo.
Fix the mess that you negligently or willfully created!!
RE: DIRECTIVE OF 6th DECEMBER 2020 on GUAN VOTERS
We refer to your press release of 6th December, 2020 directing voters in the Guan district (hereafter, SALL) not to take part in the Parliamentary Elections in the Buem Constituency.
As you are undoubtedly aware, the effect, if not the purpose, of this directive is that SALL voters did not take part in the parliamentary elections and are therefore not represented in the 8th Parliament.
SALL citizens, notwithstanding the heightened risk of COVID-19, took part in the 2020 Voters’ registration exercise. As registered voters, they had a fundamental right to vote in the 8th Parliamentary elections and to be represented in the 8th Parliament.
Your aforementioned directive therefore violated their right to vote for an MP and their right to participate equally in the political space, both of which are fundamental, inalienable, guaranteed and entrenched by the Constitution.
Further, as you are aware, your mandate under Article 47 requires that you divide the country into as many constituencies as you prescribe and for each constituency to be represented by an MP.
Therefore, your directive, which left SALL in a no man’s land and without an MP, is ultra vires your mandate. This is quite apart from the directive doing violence to your duty to follow due process and to respect SALL voters’ right to administrative justice. Your directive gave the impression that you were on the verge of creating a Guan Constituency for SALL voters for the 8th Parliament.
Many well-meaning Good Governance (GOGO) citizens also appealed to you to take the necessary steps to organize a special election before the inauguration of the 8th Parliament. Yet, almost 47 days after your directive and 14 days after the inauguration of the 8th Parliament, you are yet to initiate or announce any serious steps to atone for the grave harm that your directive has inflicted on SALL.
In fact, you are yet to even acknowledge that there is a SALL problem. We consider this inaction entirely unacceptable and evidence that you have failed to grasp the magnitude of the constitutional problem that you have created. The matters referred to above not only go to the core of representative government but also implicate the joint principles of Universal Adult Suffrage and Popular Sovereignty.
In line with GOGO, we call on you to provide immediate feedback on your plans to atone for these sins. At a minimum, we want absolute assurance that SALL will be seated in Parliament no latter than February 28, 2021.
Please, accept the assurances of our highest esteem and regards. Da Yie!"
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