Postpone referendum – NALAG

The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) has suggested the postponement of the referendum seeking to allow political parties to participate in district level elections.

It stated that “Inasmuch as the association is in support of the president’s decision to devolute power at the local level, it is important for broader consultation and awareness to whip up public interest and support, hence agrees with calls for the referendum to be postponed.”

Making the suggestion to the media in Koforidua on Monday on the sidelines of a sensitisation for identifiable groups on the referendum, Kokro Amankwah, the General Secretary of NALAG, noted that NALAG a ‘yes’ vote on the premise of partisan election at local level would be a game-changer to democratic governance in terms of citizenry participation, accountability, transparency, growth and development at local level.

“The proposed reform at local authority will save current diminishing citizenry interest in local level governance, rather make it competitive and interesting through participation of political parties, proposed constitutional exercise for further consultations with stakeholders.

“The citizenry have not understood issues, we have not reached the citizenry that much, if we reach many of them and they are informed to take decision not out of ignorance that is a danger to democracy.

“If we are able to reach enough wider population that we think it is yes, but as it is now, I will think if it is postponed it will help for further engagement for the citizenry to make an informed decision,” Mr Amankwah stressed.

Dansoa Boateng, the Second Vice Chairperson of NALAG, urged the participants to vote yes to accept the president’s intent to devolve power to the citizenry to elect Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

The referendum slated for December 17, 2019, will be held alongside the election of assembly and unit committee members but the referendum has been marred with stiff opposition by the National Democratic Congress, some civil society organisations and some government officials have called for the withdrawal of the referendum.

Some of the participants initially confused about the processes pointed out they had now understood the intent of the referendum however, appealed to the president to put in clauses that will enable the electorate to initiate impeachment proceedings against any elected MMDCEs who underperforms or engages in corruption and misconduct while in office. -starrfmonline.com

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