Declare March 3 holiday for elections

The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) has suggested that March 3, the day set aside for this year’s district level elections, be declared a public holiday in order to whip up interest in the event.

District assembly elections in Ghana have over the years recorded fewer turnouts compared to other national elections.

In a bid to ensure massive participation in the upcoming polls, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), last week launched a music jingle translated in various Ghanaian languages to create the awareness towards the elections which recorded less than 30 per cent turnout on the average since it was first held in 1988.

The CLGA believes all the efforts being put in by the NCCE and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development would yield nothing if the day is not declared a holiday to allow people to participate effectively.

“Declaring March 3 as a public holiday for Ghana’s upcoming local level election is one obvious way of showing national commitment to deepening decentralis- ation, local democracy and popular participation in governance,” a press release signed by Executive Director of the CLGA Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso has said.

According to the CLGA, “once the day is declared a public holiday, voter turnout will increase, thereby deepening local democracy along the same lines as national democracy which the nation prides itself so much”.

The statement said the voter turnout on the day would increase while creating the opportunity for every qualified voter to exercise their franchise in choosing local leaders.

It said to give true meaning to Article 35(6d) of the 1992 constitution which mandates the state to “take appropriate measures to make democracy a reality by decentralising the administrative and financial machinery of government to the regions and districts by affording all possible opportunities to the people to participate in decision-making at every level of national life and in governance” every effort must be made to promote voter participation in all local level elections.

By Times Reporter  

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