An inter-party committee to increase public education and sensitisation for smooth and peaceful referendum on December 17, 2019, in the Korle Klottey Municipality of the Greater Accra Region has been inaugurated in Accra.
The move, according to the Municipal Chief Executive, Nii Adjei Tawiah, who is also the chairman, was to ensure massive ‘yes’ vote for amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution that bars political parties from participating in district level elections.
He indicated that the initial rules and regulations that governed conduct and proceedings to inculcate district level elections into the assembly system have changed gradually with increasing political features which tend to falsely declare it was nonpartisan.
Nii Tawiah noted that It was against this backdrop, that President Nana Akufo-Addo in his wisdom proposed the idea for the citizenry to decide whether partisan district level elections as portrayed by voluntary political involvement or otherwise by voting “Yes” or “No” to show preparedness for or against intended changes.
“A successful referendum for yes vote will require at least 40 per cent total voter turnout with 75 per cent voting in favour of change which will require constitutional amendment of article 55 (3) which is an entrenched clause.
“As the political parties have co-existence since inception of partisan politics in municipality, it is befitting committee comprising all parties to help propagate rightful information to the municipality for high voter turnout during the period which also coincides with election of assembly and unit committee members.
Alfred Abbu of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) said the move was in right direction and everything possible for a massive yes vote was needed.
Alhaji Mohammed Frempong of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) indicated that a successful yes vote would eliminate hypocrisy that characterised voting processes at the district level.
Juliana Aboagye, the constituency chairperson of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) noted that the amendment would pave way for election of metropolitan municipal and district chief executives, would make them sit up because when they misbehave they would be removed by the thumb of the people who voted them into office.
The district level elections came into existence under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) era in 1988 and was purely a non-partisan structure intended to bring democracy and good governance at the grassroots level.
BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU