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Greater Accra Deserves 60 Constituencies - Mike Ocquaye   
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Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and a leading member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Prof. Mike Ocquaye has taken a swipe at government for what he says is the haste in creating districts that led to the yet-to-be created 45 constituencies by the Electoral Commission.

According to Prof. Ocquaye, the basis for the decision to create the Districts was "fallacious" and "erroneous' and must be rectified as soon as possible to forestall any future repercussions.

Speaking at a press conference organized by a group of concerned indigenes of the Greater Accra region who feel shortchanged by the recent creation of the constituencies, Prof. Ocquaye stated that per the 2010 Population and Housing Census figures, the EC erred in allocating only seven constituencies to the Greater Accra region when it has the second biggest population size in the country. He is proposing that the seats are increased to match the population size.

The 2010 Population and Housing census figures released this year indicate that the Greater Accra has 4,010,054 residents. Based on the figure, the lawmaker believes the region deserves better.

“To make a little analysis, Upper East gets 15 seats, [with over one million] people. Greater Accra has more than four times the human beings that Upper East has. Therefore 15 times four is equal to 60. That is, if Greater Accra is four times more and Upper East gets 15 seats judging by the population ratio, Greater Accra should have 60 seats not 34 seats,” he said.

According to him, the explanation that the constituencies were created based on factors such as land size is untenable, saying “a few details make the matter glaring and most unfair and unjust to the people of the Greater Accra region most especially and others in Ghana at large.”

He said comparing Greater Accra to all the other regions, one will come to the realization that there is no reason why the region should get just 36 constituencies.

He accused government of illegally creating the Districts across the country to serve as the launchpad for the new constituencies.

“The creation of many districts is fallacious in law since many [districts] are disqualified by the population legal requirement. Second, no law mandates the creation of new constituencies for new districts. Third, even granting the weighting of one to nine alone, the apportionment of constituencies by the EC from the census results of 2012 is woefully wrong and should be scrapped.”

“It is our humble submission that the creation of several of the new Districts constitutes an illegality and also in the re-alignment exercise, the EC woefully failed to address the problem of equity and fairness to all by ensuring equal and parity representation.”

Imputing malice in government’s decision to create the new districts, Prof. Mike Ocquaye said in per the current political dispensation, the creation of more districts is misguided and that the government acted in haste for reasons best known to it.

Quoting Act 462 (3) of the 1992 Constitution to back his claims, the legal luminary said the population element is mandatory and nothing else can compensate for it. “The census results show that at least 23 of the existing Districts which are being created cannot qualify as Districts in terms of the basic population required by law.”
Source: radioxyzonline.com

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