By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, Nov. 07, GNA – Representatives of
some civil society organisations (CSOs) have shared their views on the
impending referendum, saying a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ vote will have implications for
accountability, inclusive governance and accelerated development at the local
Some were of the view that a ‘Yes’ vote
would help end the winner-takes-all system by promoting inclusive governance
while others believed that a ‘No’ vote would further encourage corruption as
avenues for accountability would be lost.
These came to light at a forum dubbed:
“Northern Ghana meets on Referendum – 2019” to discuss the impact of a ‘Yes’ or
‘No’ vote on the country’s democracy, decentralisation drive, financial
sustenance of the assemblies and quality of service delivery.
It was organised in Tamale by NORSAAC, a
Civil Society Organisation (CSO), as part of its project dubbed; “Referendum We
Want,” which is funded by STAR Ghana Foundation to influence national level
discourse and actions using evidence from the north.
It was attended by traditional authorities,
representatives of CSOs, state institutions, media practitioners, youth groups,
and political parties drawn from the five regions in the northern part of the
country; the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, North East and Savannah.
The country will go for a referendum on
December 17, this year, to consider a proposal to amend Article 55(3) of the
1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched clause, to allow political parties to
participate in local governance elections.
Article 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution,
which is a non-entrenched clause, will also be amended by Parliament to allow
for election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
If the citizenry approve the proposal
through the referendum, then from the year 2021, MMDCEs will no longer be
nominated by the President but rather be directly elected by the citizenry on
political party lines.
Mr Kwesi Jonah, Senior Research Fellow at
the Institute of Democratic Governance, who spoke on the implications of a
‘Yes’ vote, said election of MMDCEs on partisan basis would promote
accountability as the officials would be answerable to the people at the local
He said it would bring about competition
among political parties to improve on the conditions of the people such that
they would continue to vote for them.
He said the assemblies would also find
innovative ways to generate more resources to develop their areas as they could
no longer depend on the District Assemblies Common Fund alone for their
Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, the Executive
Director of Ghana Integrity Initiative, who spoke on the implications of a ‘No’
vote, said the winner-takes-all system, which did not promote inclusive
governance, would continue and would ultimately affect the performance of local
Alhaji Alhassan Mohammed Awal, the Executive
Director of NORSAAC, expressed the hope that the forum would help the citizenry
to make informed choices during the referendum in December.
Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional
Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, commended CSOs for sensitising
the public on the referendum, saying it would help inform them better on
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