Fiapre chiefs oppose creation of new electoral areas

From Michael Boateng, Sunyani

Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan - Chairman, Electoral Commission

The chiefs and people of Fiapre in the Sunyani West District of thet Brong-Ahafo Region are opposing the proposed creation of new electoral areas for Twumasikrom and Kantro, all at Nsoatre.

They are also kicking against the creation of the Bakoniaba electoral area in the Sunyani municipality and the cemetery area.

According to the chiefs, the cemetery area was part of Fiapre, and has been part of the Kwartwema electoral area since the inception of the assembly concept in 1987.

The chiefs raised these objections in a petition signed by the Fiaprehene, Nana Opoku Ababio, to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, and copied to The Chronicle in Sunyani.

The petition said the chiefs were opposed to the creation of the new electoral areas for Nsoatre, because Kantro is a cluster of Fiapre villages under the Fiapre Stool, and therefore, cannot be joined to Twumasikrom, which is under the Nsoatre Stool, as an electoral area.

The petition added that for effective and equitable representation at the district assembly level, and with the current policy of re-demarcation and creation of new electoral areas, the chiefs rather proposed the creation of two additional areas for Kwartwema, another electoral area for Brofoase, and one for the electoral area comprising the Catholic University enclave and the Kantro scatter of settlements.

It said that Kwartwema electoral area was vast and fast expanding, and needed an additional electoral area.

The chiefs warned that they would protest vehemently, if the proposed creation of new electoral areas was carried out.

The petition noted that there was no geographical linkage between Fiapre and Nsoatre, and that between the two towns, is the Boreso electoral area.

The chiefs wondered how come Twumasikrom could bypass the Boreso electoral area to join Kantro as an electoral area.

The petition explained further that Fiapre had a population of over 20,000, yet had only three electoral areas, namely, Kwartwema, Brofoase and Oyoko.

Meanwhile, the Sunyani West constituency chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Kusi Boadum, is demanding to know from the Sunyani West Electoral Officer, which stakeholders were consulted before the submission of the proposed new electoral areas.

Mr. Boadum said certain areas do not need separate electoral areas, and pointed out that Twumasikrom, with only one polling station, cannot be created as an electoral area.

The NPP Chairman therefore, warned that any attempt by the Electoral Commission (EC), or any government machinery, to create new electoral areas, would give rise to problems in the 2012 general elections.

When contacted on phone, the Sunyani West Electoral Officer, Yaw Opoku, admitted receipt of the petition from the Fiapre Traditional Council, which, according to him, was sent to the regional head, and believed it would be redressed appropriately.

He however, declined to comment on that of the Sunyani West Constituency Chairman of the NPP, because officially, he had not received or heard anything from them, but if anything, there was the need for any party with concerns to officially contact the Electoral Office for rectification.

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