Gov't Not Pushing Money Into New Regions Referendum Campaign - Dan Botwe

The Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Dan Botwe has disclosed that Government will not spend money in the campaign of the upcoming referendum for the creation of six new regions in the country scheduled for December 27, 2018.

“The government is not part of the campaign, the government will not invest money to campaign for people to vote YES or No,” Dan Kwaku Botwe stressed at the 'Meet The Press' to update the media on the progress of the creation of six new regions.

According to Dan Kwaku Botwe, the power to determine the creation of the region is entirely in the hands of natives in the areas demanding the re-demarcations.

The Electoral Commission which is organising the referendum received a boost following the green light it received from the Supreme Court to hold the referendum after it threw out a legal challenge.

The applicants at the Supreme Court had wanted the EC allow all residents living in a region earmarked for re-demarcation to participate in the referendum to possibly split it.

The EC’s position was that the Constitution states that only those living within the areas proposed to form the new region should be allowed to vote. 

Not everybody is enthused by the government’s road map for the creation of the new regions which could bring to 16, Ghana’s administrative regions.

Hundreds in the Volta region marched in March 2018 against the division of Volta region to create the proposed Oti region.

They have rejected the claim that the division will accelerate stalled development in the new regions. The opponents have demanded decentralisation, which is government giving more political power to metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to foster development.

Some opponents also smell mischief from the Akufo-Addo government which has repeatedly said it is only respecting the wishes of the people as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) gathered during the 2016 elections.

Dan Botwe has stressed, government has no position on the matter of new region creation. It only has obligations to constitutionally mandated bodies like the the Electoral Commission (EC), the Information Service Department (ISD).

The last legal hurdle on the creation of new regions has also been surmounted, the Minister noted explaining, the Constitutional Instrument (CI 109) for the new regions will mature Thursday, November 29, 2018.

The maturation of the CI laid in Parliament is expected to pave the way for the EC to go ahead with the vote.

Two new regions, the proposed Savanna and North East regions could be carved out of the Northern region. While in the Brong Ahafo region, two more regions - Ahafo and Brong East regions – could emerge.

In the Western region, nine districts could be taken out to form the new Western North region.

The regions will be formed if there is at least 50% turn-out in the proposed areas and 80% of the turn-out vote ‘Yes’.