Mahama: Referendum was bound to fail due to low voter turnout

Former President Mahama and the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has observed that the low turnout recorded in the district assembly elections is an indication that the cancelled December 17 referendum was bound to fail.

He explained that the stance of the NDC on political party participation in the elections represented the views of majority of the citizenry.

The referendum was to decide on an amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution to enable political parties to participate in local level elections.

Speaking at a meeting with some executives of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the former president pointed out that “after what happened on Tuesday, one could have wondered what the fate of the referendum could have been, considering the turnout was very low, maybe it was very well considered to have withdrawn the referendum because obviously it would have failed”.

The engagement formed part of the NDC’s consultative engagement to solicit for opinions in developing the party’s 2020 manifesto dubbed:  ‘The People’s Manifesto’.

Former President Mahama said the NDC was worried that an amendment would open district assemblies and unit committees to needless NDC and New Patriotic Party (NPP) polarisation and backed his party’s position suggesting that an amendment of Article 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution was necessary.

The President later cancelled the referendum because of what he claimed was the absence of  durable national consensus on the matter following consultations, as the referendum day drew closer, there was a noticeable split among major stakeholders and observers.

Dr Yaw Baah, the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), hailed former President Mahama as man of peace and tolerance and described him as “ true human being” and had expected leadership qualities in line with late President Atta Mills, who died in 2012 whilst in office.

 “Peace is the greatest legacy any leader can bequeath to a country, one of the values Mahama  has is non-violence,  tolerance,  humility and  respect for democracy, traits we expect leaders to have,” he stressed.

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