Dan Botwe, the Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development, has proposed a total withdrawal of the December 17, 2019, referendum over what he claims are attacks on the president’s person.
“I am convinced some persons are unjustifiably hurling invectives at President Nana Akufo-Addo over the government-backed ‘yes’ campaign for the upcoming referendum which seeks to amend the law to enable Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and unit committee members to be elected along political party bases,” he fumed.
Mr Botwe, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Okere Constituency in the Eastern Region, expressed the sentiment due to a call by Kennedy Agyapong, the Assin Central Member of Parliament in the Central Region, that the referendum should be postponed to enable better voter education, sensitisation and awareness creation on issues.
“If people will disrespect the president for his intention to deepen our democratic dispensation by relinquishing his power to appoint MMDCEs to the electorate, then I will advise the president to cancel the whole referendum.
“Calls for the referendum to be postponed to enable more stakeholder consultation are not good enough but a total withdrawal of the referendum is better because cancelling the entire referendum to maintain the status quo will rather help if the good intentions of the president will stir up controversy, challenges of multi-party democracy should not be presented as a justification to stifle democracy,” Mr Botwe decried.
There have been calls by groups and individuals including the National House of Chiefs and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who are canvassing for a ‘no’ vote on the upcoming referendum to maintain Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched provision, states that “Subject to the provisions of this Article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character; and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than the district assemblies or lower local government units.” -myjoyonline.com