Review sections of District Assembly Elections Act to address low voter turnout  – NCCE

The National Com­mission for Civic Education (NCCE) is proposing a review of sections of the District Assembly Elections Act to address the problem of low voter turnout.

In 2019, the government begun processes to amend articles 243 (1) and 55 (3) of the Constitution to allow for the election of Metropol­itan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and the opening up of local level elections to participation by political parties.

However, a proposed nation­al referendum to decide on the matter was cancelled due to the absence of “a durable national consensus.”

Speaking to the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of an engagement with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to mark this year’s Constitution Week celebration, the Director of Operations, Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, said a relook at the law to allow for “decent parti­sanship” could whip up enthusiasm of citizens in the elections and im­prove local governance as a pivot for national development.

“As a country we need to be cautious about the level of polar­isation along political party lines where members of opposing sides do not see themselves as enemies but as citizens first with different ideologies and once we are able to accommodate each other, District Assemblies could go full-fledged partisan,” he said.

Expected to be held later this year, Mr Akuamoah pleaded with Ghanaians to actively participate in the district level elections when the time is due.

“We are pleading with Ghana­ians not to let us down. Come out and participate fully and those con­testing, must also offer themselves for the elections. This election provides a vital link between the national governance and the people at the grassroots level and an important governance structure in our Constitutional architecture,” he said.

The Director of Operations said while calls for review of the Constitution may be justified, Ghanaians must be careful not to undermine it until the needed reforms were made.

“We must not do anything to disturb the Constitution. It is a living organism and must be protected. The Constitution has served us well and we must all exercise restraint and go through the processes to review it.

“As the elections approach, I urge Ghanaians to guard against making misguided utterances that polarise our people. We need at this time to make pronouncement that will promote tolerance, nation­al cohesion and unity instead of that which will divide us to make for a peaceful and fair elections to further entrench our democracy,” he urged.

This year’s Constitution Week celebration has the theme; “30 years of consolidating constitu­tional democracy; Building national cohesion through civic education and participation in local gover­nance.”

In series of engagements sched­uled to sensitise the citizenry, this year’s Constitution Week aims at celebrating the country’s return to constitutional rule in 1993 after many years of military rule.


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