Godfred Yeboah Dame
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has declared that the Electoral Commission has made significant progress toward guaranteeing representation for the Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL) traditional areas in Parliament with his active support.
According to him, in a letter dated November 2, 2023, Parliament indicated that on October 31, 2023, the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units (Amendment) Instrument, 2023, and the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) (Amendment) Instrument, 2023, were laid in Parliament.
Answering questions on the floor of Parliament, Mr. Dame said in 2021, the Electoral Commission (EC), with the guidance of his office, started the process for the creation of a new constituency for the Guan District.
“The Commission held a consultative meeting with stakeholders in the new Guan District for a proposed name and headquarters of the new Constituency. The stakeholders unanimously agreed on a constituency name, Guan Constituency with the headquarters being Likpe-Mate,” he noted.
NDC MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, asked the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice the government’s legal position on the plight of the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) as they do not have representation in the current Eighth Parliament.
The Minister explained that the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units (Amendment) Instrument, 2023, seeks to realign the Jasikan and Guan Districts, placing the electoral areas in the SALL traditional areas within the Guan District.
The Attorney General said even if the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units (Amendment) Instrument, 2023 and the Representation of the People (Parliamentary Constituencies) (Amendment) Instrument, 2023 are put into effect in accordance with clause 7 of Article 11, the creation of a new Guan Constituency made up of the SALL areas shall only come into effect upon the next dissolution of Parliament, which is scheduled for January 6, 2025.
“This is the effect of Article 47(6) of the Constitution,” he argued and suggested that the alternative would be the revocation of L. I. 2416 that established the Guan District, which would imply that the residents of SALL would remain under the Jasikan District.
Again, he stated that C. I. 128—which was used to conduct the 2020 Parliamentary elections—had already placed the SALL areas under the Buem Constituency, and that the 2020 parliamentary election held for the Buem Constituency should be annulled to allow residents of the four (4) SALL communities eligible to vote under Article 42 of the Constitution to exercise their right to elect an MP to represent them.
The Minister further noted that a lawsuit contesting the legitimacy of Buem MP Kofi Adams’ election is presently proceeding at the Hohoe High Court.
He added that the lawsuit stems from the rejection of the SALL people’s ability to vote in the Buem Parliamentary election that was held in December 2020.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House