The Legislative Instrument (LI) for the creation of additional districts and municipalities will be laid before Parliament by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on Tuesday, February 7, 2012.
The LI, which will mature 21 days after its presentation, will also provide the platform for the Electoral Commission (EC) to create more constituencies in the run-up to the December general election.
Already, President John Evans Atta Mills has signed the Executive Instrument for the creation 42 new districts, which has also been gazetted by the Attorney-General’s Office and the Ministry of Justice.
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that the ministries of Local Government and Rural Development and Justice had also trashed out all issues with the Parliamentary Select committees on Subsidiary Legislation and Constitution and Local Government with regard to the LI.
He said by the LI, the government was also seeking to amend sections of Act 462, particularly Section (1) 4 (A) to ensure that the act legalised the existing reality created by the previous administration.
He explained that during President Kufuor’s administration, some municipalities were created with the view to accelerating development, even though their creation did not comply with the stipulated requirement that a municipality must be a single compact settlement.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo mentioned that some of the municipalities, such as Nzema East and Ga West, did not conform to the ‘single compact settlement’ requirement but were created to engender accelerated development.
He said the amendment, which would be placed before Parliament under a certificate of emergency, was seeking to take out the single compact settlement requirement to be able to create new municipalities which would also be consistent with existing law.
In a separate interview, the Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, said the commission would create new constituencies after the creation of new districts.
That, he said, was because the formula for creating additional constituencies included the number of existing districts, quotations for each region and other variables, adding that “the ideal thing is that the districts are created first before the creation of constituencies”.
On the question of the number of constituencies to be created, Dr Afari-Gyan said, “No one can tell you how many additional constituencies will be created until the districts are created.”
The Supreme Court is expected to give its judgement on February 15, 2012 in a case brought before it by two residents of Nungua, near Accra, that the EC and the Attorney-General should review the 230 constituencies.
They want the EC to alter the constituencies following the publication of the enumeration figures after the 2010 Population Census and in accordance with the egalitarian principle of fair representation embodied in the 1992 Constitution, especially Article 47(3) and (4) of the 1992 Constitution.