A Senior Research Fellow at
the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Kwesi Jonah, has stated that
the impending December referendum is not intended to decide whether or not Metropolitan,
Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) should be elected.
Instead, it would be a referendum to ensure the
amendment of article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to allow political parties
to participate in local governance election and the citizenry understand issues
to inform how they would vote.
Mr Jonah made the clarification at a multi-stakeholders
forum on misconceptions surrounding impending referendum on political parties’
participation in local governance elections.
The forum was organised by RISE Ghana, a civil
society organisation (CSO), in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, and
facilitated by NORSAAC, an advocacy CSO, in collaboration with IDEG with
funding from STAR-Ghana Foundation, and formed part of a project titled: ‘The
Referendum we want project’.
The programme, which was
intended to sensitise stakeholders to be well informed about the upcoming
referendum to enable them replicate the knowledge and understanding to the
citizenry through endeavours to ensure they turn out to vote, was held on the
theme: ‘The Review of Article 55- A Panacea or a Burden on the Winner-takes-All
Practice in Ghana.’
Mr Jonah observed that most citizens were not
well informed on the right issues surrounding the impending referendum which was
to allow them decide whether or not they wanted political parties to
participate in the election of MMDCEs. This is contrary to their perception,
which is to decide whether or not MMDCEs should be elected.
Hafsatu Sumani, Head of Programme and Policy at
NORSAAC, underscored the need for stakeholders to be interested and concerned
about local governance referendum.
On December 10, 2019, Ghanaians will vote in a referendum to decide on a proposal to amend Article 55(3) of 1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched provision, to allow political parties participate in local governance election, while Parliament amends Article 243(1), which is not entrenched to allow MMDCEs to be elected by the electorate.
Currently, the President nominates MMDCEs and subsequent approval by their respective assembly members, however, if the proposal is approved during the referendum, MMDCEs will directly be elected by the electorate on political party basis and not nominated by the president anymore.
For this to happen, the referendum must record at least 40 per cent voter turnout of total registered voters and 75 per cent voting, to affirm the proposal. -gna.org
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