NCCE rejects Afrobarometer report on poor sensitisation on referendum

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has rejected claims that it has done a poor job in educating the public on the upcoming referendum on December 17, 2019.

This comes after the Afrobarometer report released by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD)-Ghana stated that only 43 per cent of the citizenry know about the upcoming referendum, leaving more than half of them with no knowledge about the exercise.

Noting that the survey was conducted within the period where the commission had actually not begun intensified education, sensitisation and awareness creation on referendum due to lack of funding, Josephine Nkrumah, the Chairperson of the Commission, stated that there will be better results if another survey was conducted.

“It’s important to stress that the Afrobarometer survey was carried out from September 16 to October 3, we began engagement towards district level elections prior to the dates but that time we didn’t have any funding to support and assist intensification.

“But on September 17, with support and assistance of Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, we launched and intensified our sensitisation, education and awareness creation campaign, I dare say if we conduct another survey today we will have different findings.

“The commission had earlier expressed disappointment over “misinformation” in the media alleging upcoming December 17, 2019, referendum is to elect Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), and clarified it is only to vote on proposed amendment to allow political parties participate in district level elections,” Ms Nkrumah insisted.

However, there are matters arising on the referendum as various groups and leaders are sharing contrasting views on the effects the election of MMDCEs would have on the country, as a local government analyst, George Baffour had admonished the citizenry to vote ‘yes’ to increase accountability, probity, transparency and good governance at local level.

“The ‘yes vote’ is geared towards accomplishing constitutional mandate, and will ensure participation of the citizenry in decision-making processes for good governance,” he stressed.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has scheduled December 17, 2019, to conduct a referendum to approve the bill to amend Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, the bill when passed, would allow political parties to fund candidates for election to district assemblies and lower local government units.

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