NCCE: Referendum not for election of MMDCEs

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has expressed concern over some “misinformation” in the media alleging that the upcoming December 17, 2019, referendum is to elect Metropolitan Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

It clarified that the referendum is only to vote on the proposed amendment to allow political parties to participate in the district level elections.

In a statement issued in Accra at the weekend, it clarified that the December 17, 2019, referendum is to enable the citizenry to vote on proposed amendment of Article 55(3) of 1992 Constitution which currently bars political parties from participating in district level elections, introduce multi-party participation in local government system and that false information might cause confusion on the day of election and urged the media to help educate, sensitise and create awareness correctly.

“Article 55(3) states that subject to the provisions of this Article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than to District Assemblies or lower local government units.

“The provision in the constitution can only be amended through referendum where at least 40 per cent of the citizenry entitled to vote, vote at referendum and at least 75 per cent of the persons who cast votes in favour of passing the bill.

“Referendum will appear on ballot paper as: Are you in favour of the Bill to amend Clause 3 of Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution to allow Political Parties to sponsor Candidates for election to District Assemblies or Lower Local Government Units”? The electorate may vote YES (colour coded Yellow) or NO (colour coded Dark Brown).

“Amendment of Article 243 (1), a non-entrenched provision does not require referendum since there shall be District Chief Executive for every district who shall be appointed by the president with prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of assembly present and voting at meeting.

“Parliament is currently in a process of amending the article to enable eligible citizens elect MMDCEs, successful amendment of Article 55(3) implies, political parties will be able to sponsor candidates for election to District Assemblies or Lower Local Government Units.

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