Political parties have violated Article 55 (3) – Afari-Gyan

Former Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has stated that he expects ‘yes’ votes to win the day in the December 17, 2019, referendum on political party participation in local level elections.

“The Idea was that people would consider district level elections as a community activity, you would want to offer your service to your community, you would offer yourself and be elected by the community.

”But the system was hijacked by the political parties, the challenge is that by law they are not supposed to be involved but we all know that they are already involved, the intention has been flouted over the years, we know political parties are so involved and I welcome the impending change to allow political parties to take part in local election.

“I expect the ‘yes’ vote to win but ‘yes’ vote is the first step, the changes that happen thereafter will be the critical part, if we compose district assembly on the same way we compose our parliament, it will lead to a disaster at the local level, the only solution will be mixed number proportional system,” Dr Afari-Gyan pointed out.
He indicated that he was part of the consultative council which drafted the constitutional provision, which barred political party involvement in local polls and bemoaned that the original intention for the law had been violated by political parties.

Relatedly, the president has asked the electorate to turnout in their numbers on December 17, 2019, vote ‘yes’ in the referendum to repeal Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution, and obtain the power to elect directly their own Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.

The District Assembly concept, introduced some 31 years ago, under the Former President Jerry Rawlings era, was one of the most important contributions to the improvement of governance.

It had led to the enhancement of participatory involvement of the citizenry in local governance, it is time to deepen the processes that was began 31 years ago, and entrust to them full sovereignty over the election of MMDCEs and members of various assemblies.

 Already, members of the various assemblies elected directly in an allegedly non-partisan way, and it is an open secret that the elections are non-partisan and the political parties are deeply involved. -starrfmonline.com

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