Martin Kpebu: Local govt system must remain non-partisan

Martin Kpebu, a private legal practitioner, has urged the president to permanently suspend the upcoming referendum on multi-party participation at the local governance level since it is nothing but ‘waste’ of the nation’s resources.

Relying on the work of the Constitution Review Commission which suggested that ‘majority’ of the citizenry disapprove of partisan politics at the district assembly elections, he asked the citizenry to vote ‘no’ if the referendum was held.

He appealed to the president to listen to the ‘no’ advocates and save the nation time and money because in his view, “The referendum is a waste of resources, let’s call off the referendum, let’s spend our resources in a better manner, and use the money for the election on roads, schools, health among others etc.

“I am concerned about the monetisation and other militating issues affecting national level elections like the presidential race, I want the situation at that level ‘perfected’ before introducing it at the district assembly level, for now we are not ready, I also reject calls by the ‘yes’ advocates to get Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution amended,” Mr Kpebu maintained.

The National House of Chiefs issued a statement on Friday asking the citizenry to reject the amendment by voting ‘no’,  the National Democratic Congress (NDC), as well as some civil society groups have campaigned for a ‘no’ vote, but President Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are championing the campaign for ‘yes’ vote.

“It is time to strip the veneer of non-partisanship away and look at the reality, which is they are multi-party and partisan, we want to bring democracy to the local level a step further, and entrust to the people the right to select directly themselves their Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chiefs Executives as well as their Members of Parliament, and in an open, free, fair, credible transparent, and partisan multi-party basis,” the president indicated at a recent event in the Volta Region.

The Constitution requires a turnout of 40 per cent of the electorate, with 75 per cent of the turnout voting ‘yes’ for the amendment of Article 55(3) to be successful. -3news.com

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