Not allowing people of Guan to vote for MP clear gerrymandering – Alhassan Suhuyini

Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini has said the Electoral Commission’s announcement on the eve of the 7 December 2020 general elections that eligible voters in the newly-created Guan District could only take part in the presidential election in Hohoe and not the parliamentary election, since the creation of the Guan Constituency was still pending, amounted to gerrymandering, which, in his view, inured to the benefit of the governing New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary candidate for Hohoe, Mr John Peter Amewu.

In a statement issued on Sunday, 6 December 2020, the election management body announced for the information of the general public, “especially voters in the Buem Constituency that the 7 December 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections” would take place in the Buem Constituency as scheduled, from 7 am to 5 pm”.

“However, as a result of the creation of the Guan District Local Government, (Guan District Assembly)(Establishment) Instrument 2020 and pending the creation of the Guan Constituency, eligible voters in the Guan District will vote only in the presidential election but not in the parliamentary election in the Buem Constituency”.

The opposition MP, however, wondered in an interview with Kwame Appiah Kubi on CTV’s Anopa Dwabre Mu programme on Wednesday, 23 December 202 that: “What would it have hurt, what would have gone wrong if they had allowed the people of Guan to vote [in the] parliamentary [polls] in Hohoe just as they were allowed to vote in the presidential attached to Hohoe? What would it have changed?”

Mr Suhuyini said had the EC allowed them to vote in the parliamentary election through Hohoe, “at least, as we speak, the composition of the 8th Parliament, would have still reflected a representation for the people of Guan through Hohoe until such a time that the EC would have taken steps, as required by law, to enable them have a representative that is purely theirs”.

“But, as we speak, like I’ve said, if the presidential outcome gives you a certain figure, which could have changed the parliamentary outcome if it were added or if the people were given the opportunity to vote, there is only one conclusion you can make out of the refusal – and remember the EC chose to carry out this announcement on the day before the election, 6 December 2020 when everybody was busy and not looking – clear gerrymandering, clear unfairness, injustice that amounts to a threat to our democracy”, he asserted.

In his view, the behaviour of the EC and the police poses a threat to the country’s democracy than the numerous protests being staged by the NDC over the election results.

If you fear for our democracy, if you want Ghana to be peaceful and stable like we all do, you should not be worried about the reactions of supporters who mass up on the streets or reactions of people like MPs, who decide to petition the EC. Rather be worried about people your taxes pay; for example, the police and their conduct that fly in the face of justice and fairness; for example, the EC”, he said.

“In his view, the “new Commissioners that Nana Akufo-Addo has appointed, seem to have taken their job so seriously to the point that they feel that the only person they have to please in this country is Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), so, everything – legal and illegal, with impunity – has been employed in this year’s election to achieve that end: to please Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP”.

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