President Nana Akufo-Addo has said the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission has passed its first test by organising six simultaneous referenda successfully in connection with the creation of six new regions.
“The new leadership of the Electoral Commission is to be commended for passing its first test by ensuring the holding of free, fair and transparent referenda”, the president praised in a congratulatory statement to all the stakeholders that played different roles in executing the exercise.
The president also said the Constitutional electoral threshold for the creation of new regions was met beyond a doubt, judging from the results of Friday’s referenda in four regions out of which the six proposed ones are to be carved.
Voters turned up in their numbers in the affected enclaves to ensure that they got the required numbers for the creation of Oti (from the Volta Region), Savannah and North East (from the Northern Region), Bono East and Ahafo (from the Brong Ahafo Region) and Western North from the Western Region.
The YES votes for each of the proposed regions in the referenda fell in the ranges of 85 to 99 per cent.
In a congratulatory message to all the stakeholders that saw to the passing of the referenda, the president said: “This is the first time, in a constitutional era, that regions are being created under constitutional provisions”.
“In each of the six affected areas, the threshold as stipulated in the Constitution for the creation of a region to succeed, i.e. at least 50% turnout of the registered electorate and at least 80% of votes cast in favour, was convincingly and spectacularly met.
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Read the president’s full statement below:
CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE BY PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO ON THE RESULTS OF THE REFERENDA
On Thursday, 27th December 2018, Ghanaians in some affected parts of the country turned out in their numbers to give virtually unanimous assent to the reorganisation of the nation’s regional governance structure, so as to bring Government closer to them, and, thereby, accelerate their socio-economic development.
This is the first time, in a constitutional era, that regions are being created under constitutional provisions. In each of the six affected areas, the threshold as stipulated in the Constitution for the creation of a region to succeed, i.e. at least 50% turnout of the registered electorate and at least 80% of votes cast in favour, was convincingly and spectacularly met.
The will of the people determined the outcome of Thursday’s referenda, and I congratulate the people in the soon-to-be-created regions of Ahafo, Bono East, North East, Oti, Savannah and Western North for the dignified, peaceful manner in which they exercised their franchise and constitutional right.
The new leadership of the Electoral Commission is to be commended for passing its first test by ensuring the holding of free, fair and transparent referenda. The security agencies and members of the media are also to be applauded for the invaluable roles played towards the success of this exercise.
I thank the members of the Brobbey Commission, led by the noted jurist, Mr Justice S.A. Brobbey, a retired member of the Supreme Court, for the thorough and painstaking work the Commission did, which resulted in the recommendations that received overwhelming, popular endorsement.
The Ghanaian people, by this singular process, have again demonstrated to the world their deep attachment to the principles of democratic accountability and the rule of law. It is a harbinger of that national transformation into the free, open, democratic state that is at the core of our national aspiration for freedom and justice. We are chartering new paths in the growth and development of our country, and I am confident that, together, we will put our nation onto the path of progress and prosperity.
As we enter a new year, let me, again, wish all the people of Ghana a happy and prosperous 2019. May God bless us all, and our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President of the Republic