Nat’l House of Chiefs’ opposition to referendum will not influence citizenry – Oduro Osae

Dr Oduro Osae, the Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, has assured that the National House of Chiefs’ opposition to proposals for political party participation in the district level elections will not influence the voting pattern in the referendum.

However, he indicated that it was expected that the National House of Chiefs would oppose the referendum, slated for December 17, 2019, given that Article 27 (6) of the 1992 Constitution barred chiefs from participating in active politics.

“I am confident that the citizenry, who are discerning, will not make their decisions based on assertions from the National House of Chiefs,” Dr Osae reassured.

The National House of Chiefs asked the citizenry to reject the December 17, 2019, referendum aimed at seeking permission from them to allow political parties sponsor candidates for elections at local level.

It was contained in a statement signed  and issued by its President, Togbe Afede XIV,  said effective decentralisation would negatively be affected by control of local parties given constitution was purposely designed to protect local level governance.

“We want the citizenry to know referendum is meant to permit unbridled partisan politics into local government,  merits of proposed reform should be assessed on that basis, we strongly recommend its rejection by the citizens,  the efficacy and utility of introducing partisan politics into local government is questionable.

The development implications of such reforms are by no means self-evident, the framers of the 1992 Constitution had good reasons for protecting our local government system from partisan politics, and rationale for new reforms has not sufficiently addressed grounds for exclusion,” the statement said.

 According to Dr Osae, it was not surprising because Article 27(6) barred chiefs from actively participating in politics, and any attempt to introduce multi-partisan system into local level would naturally receive backlash.

“However, under our constitution, citizens are required to vote not by direction but by conscience and belief,  the statement did not give it any weight because in my view, it will not sway the voting pattern because Ghanaians are discerning and will read between the lines.

“But interviews with other chiefs and development, we have to be careful about press statements, that notwithstanding, we are continuing with our campaign for ‘yes’ vote to democratise local government system,” Dr Osae cautioned. -citinewsroom.com

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