Voting “Yes” in December 17 is the way to go

The President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo on Monday asked Ghanaians to turn up in their numbers on December 17, to vote “Yes” in the referendum to repeal article 55(3) of the Constitution.

The repeal of the law would pave way for the amendment of the Constitution to give the electorates the opportunity to elect their own Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

The President’s appeal is in line with the manifesto pledge of the ruling government to allow MMDCEs to be voted for, in addition to members of the district assemblies.

Already, members of the district assemblies are elected in non-partisan way, but this would soon change with the amendment of the Constitution.

The campaign waged by the President to rally support for a “Yes” vote is in the right direction and as he rightly said, “It is time to strip the veneer of non-partisanship away and look at the reality which is that, they are multi-party and partisan. We want to bring democracy to the local level as a step further and entrust to the people the right to select directly themselves their MMDCEs as well as their Member of Parliament (MPs) and do so in an open, transparent and in multiparty basis.”

Indeed, the sense the Ghanaian Times gets about the election of MMDCEs is that overwhelming majority support the idea, however the obstacle to achieve that is article 55 (3) of the Constitution which prohibits parties from sponsoring candidates into local government.

That is why Parliament has gone through the motions and the necessary processes that would enable the nation go to the polls on December 17, to vote in a referendum to decide whether or not the country should move a step further in consolidating democracy at the local level. A “No” vote would mean that we cannot vote to elect our MMDCEs.

We are hopeful and optimistic that majority of Ghanaians would support the idea and turn out in their numbers to vote “Yes” for the repeal of the law.

The referendum no doubt is going to serve as the last remaining barrier to be cleared before we firmly take control of local government which would enable us take our destiny into our own hands.

Up until now, the appointment of MMDCEs has been in the hands of the government and those who are appointed are accountable to the government and the appointing authority.

That clearly has some shortcomings which has affected development at the local level. With the election of the MMDCEs, the people can now demand accountability and decide tier faith at the polls.

We are hopeful, therefore, that Ghanaians would turn out in their numbers on December 17, to vote massively in support of electing MMDCEs into office.

A “Yes” vote is clearly an endorsement that, we can take control of the development at the local level through the power of our thumb and not wait for government intervention.

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