Residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) Traditional Areas in the Oti Region have reminded the Electoral Commission (EC) to quicken efforts to restore their electoral rights.
They stated that following earlier protests on their exclusion, they were hoping the EC would expedite action in addressing their plights but had failed to heed to their calls, hence the reminder. “It has been our expectation after the said notice, you will take necessary steps to restore our full electoral rights of citizenship as guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution. Sadly, there has been no urgency or indication of ethical responsibility to lift the suspension of SALL peoples’ rights and closing gap to our representative democracy,” they said.
In a statement jointly signed and issued by Seth Owusu and J.K. Addae, co-chairmen of the Office of the Joint Steering Committee of SALL, said the Commission exceeded its mandate by disenfranchising registered voters in the areas, thereby subverting their integrity of democratic order.
It said a year after the development, they were calling on EC to address concerns and restore ability to vote accordingly, remind and urge it to fulfill duty by taking steps to restore unconstitutional and embarrassing situation which occurred, and every day of inaction was too much miscarriage of justice and as Ghanaians, they also deserve better
The Guan District made up of SALL in the Oti Region was created following a Legislative Instrument laid in Parliament by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development in 2019, which was previously part of Hohoe Municipality (District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument, 2014, Constitutional Instrument (C. I.) 85.
However, the area was placed in the Oti Region in the Referendum (Creation of New Regions) Regulations, 2018 C. I. 109 of November 30, 2018, as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry into creation of six new regions, and consequently, Guan was made part of Oti Region Instrument, 2019 C. I. 112 on February 8, 2019.
It was also included in the Jasikan District in the Oti Region as provided in District Electoral Areas and Designation of Unit Assemblies, however, residents of SALL did not partake in December 7, 2020 parliamentary election but only voted in presidential election following an announcement by EC on December 6, 2020.
The disenfranchisement has so far triggered reactions with many concerned Ghanaians calling for the issue to be addressed ahead of 2024 elections
SOURCE: Nii Otu Dadeban Ankrah
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