IMANI Report: Proliferation of New Districts and Constituencies in Ghana: The Mismatch Between Policy Objectives, Outcomes and Impacts

IMANI Report: Proliferation of New Districts and Constituencies in Ghana: The Mismatch Between Policy Objectives, Outcomes and Impacts

Invitation to the Launch of a New IMANI Report- “Proliferation of New Districts and Constituencies in Ghana: The Mismatch Between Policy Objective

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Franklin Cudjo, IMANI Center for Policy and Education

Invitation to the Launch of a New IMANI Report- “Proliferation of New Districts and Constituencies in Ghana: The Mismatch Between Policy Objectives, Outcomes and Impacts”

The practice of creating districts in Ghana has been a subject of controversy for some time now, with series of gerrymandering [ads1]accusations and other related issues. These accusations have been fueled by the lack of clarity, transparency on the framework for creating the districts, lack of proper consultations, breach of the prerequisite conditions among others. Such long-standing practices have often resulted in boycotting elections, inter-community conflict, and other disunity in the past. Successive governments, on the other hand, have justified the proliferation of district creation by indicating that the goal is to fast-track development in such areas. In other words, creating new districts will lead to improved service delivery as well as bring development closer to the people.

However, a worrying trend that emanates from the frequent creation of new districts is its ripple effects on constituency demarcation and the inability of these districts to generate enough revenue to deliver as expected.

In 2004, some large and populous districts which constituted single-member constituencies were split while smaller administrative units were automatically converted into constituencies by the EC. The event raised the membership of parliament from 200 to 230. The creation of constituencies has also had its fair share of agitations.
It will be recalled that the EC’s decision was challenged by various interest groups and the minority political parties at the time, who believed that the newly created constituencies should not be contestable in the then upcoming Parliamentary elections.

However, a Supreme Court ruling gave the “green light” for these constituencies to be contestable. In 2012, this cycle repeated itself when the Electoral Commission laid C.I 78 before Parliament which resulted in the creation of 45 additional constituencies before Parliament.
Given that the EC is enjoined by Article 47(5) of the Constitution to review the number of constituencies every 7 years or after a population census, which occurs every 10 years, the report sought to provide some evidence for meaningful discussions and consultations to inform a more systematic and transparent review process in 2019.

Given the background provided, the study sought to achieve three broad objectives:
1. To analyse the policy used by the Electoral Commission of Ghana in the creation of parliamentary constituencies (which is often tied to new administrative districts created by the executive) and the possibility for abuse of the system to favour a political party (gerrymandering).
2. To analyse the relationship between the policy objectives and policy outcomes of the creation of new districts.
3. To analyse the degree to which MPs’ representation in parliament of the new constituencies created out of new districts in 2004 aligned with their mandate.
IMANI Africa is inviting you to the launch of the report and to engage stakeholders and the public to discuss the findings and emerging issues and come up with ideas to better guide Ghana’s pursuit of enhancing decentralization and representation.

The report was produced by IMANI Africa and with support from Odekro and sponsored by STAR Ghana.

The event details as as follows:
Date: Wednesday, May 30th 2017
Venue: Mensvic Hotel, East Legon
Time: 9:00am

Please RSVP by calling 0554309966 or email info@imanighana.org