A referendum is taking place in some parts of Ghana today aimed at creating six new regions.
The proposed regions are Western North, Bono East, Ahafo, Savannah, North East, and Oti Regions.
A total of 2,260,724 voters are expected to vote at 4,798 polling stations of the proposed areas. Voting started at 7:00 am and will end at 5:00 pm at all the 4,978 polling stations in the proposed enclaves.
Eligible voters would be expected to vote for or against the question, “Are you in favour of the creation of the region? ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’
“The associated ballot colour for ‘Yes’ on each ballot paper is yellow and that of ‘No’ is brown. Registered voters within the proposed regions are to thumbprint in the portion provided on each ballot paper by voting ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and not both,” the Electoral Commission has said.
The Constitutional threshold requires that at least 50 per cent of the eligible voters must cast their votes in the referendum, and of the valid votes cast, 80 per cent must be in favour of the proposed creation of the new regions.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has deployed a total of 50 observers to the various districts across the country within which the referendum exercise will take place.
This is in line with CODEO’s objective of promoting electoral transparency, accountability and credibility towards peaceful outcomes.
CODEO observers will visit various polling stations within their assigned districts, paying attention to key electoral processes such as the setting-up and opening of polls, verification and voting processes, close-of-polls and counting processes, as well as results collation.
Observers will also focus on the conduct of election officials and other stakeholders including, security personnel and voters.
To help promote general peace and credibility of electoral outcomes, CODEO is calling on all stakeholders particularly, the Electoral Commission (EC), security agencies, traditional authorities, the media and various campaigners to play their relevant roles towards the success of the process.
Specifically, CODEO calls on the EC to ensure all arrangements put in place for the exercise are adequate and ensure free, fair and credible election outcomes.
CODEO also calls on the security agencies to ensure all voters exercise their right in a peaceful atmosphere. To traditional leaders and the various campaigners on the referendum question, CODEO urged calm and the respect of individual rights and differences.