Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo is expected to decide in a few days on whether the December 17 referendum will come off as planned.
Revealing this to the media, a Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Hadzide, indicated that before the President travelled outside the country, he commissioned another round of consultations on the process and he will make a decision on the matter after he receives a report on the consultations.
While the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP) and some Civil society organizations are campaigning for a ‘YES’ vote, the leading opposition party National Democratic Congress(NDC) and some members of the National House of chiefs are also campaigning for the opposite.
It is on the back of this that the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at a forum last Friday called for further consultations.
While speaking on the Big Issue on Saturday, Deputy Minister for Information Mr. Hadzide said: “This is a listening government. Before the president travelled out of the country, he gave instructions that another round of consultations be carried out to clear out the misconception that has been driven into the system to bring clarity to bear on this issue. There is a referendum slated for the 17th of December, [and] we are proceeding. When the President comes, he will be briefed about the outcome of the consultations and he will take a decision.”
Arguments surrounding Referendum
Due to the division in opinions surrounding the December 17 referendum, the Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe called for a broad consultation.
Also traditional leaders are also divided after the Chairman of the Governance Committee of the National House of Chiefs; Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II disclosed that the posture of the House for a NO vote did not represent the concerted views of the chiefs.
December 17 Referendum
The December 17 referendum is to decide on a possible amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution to empower political parties to sponsor candidates for local level elections.
The outcome will have either of the following outcomes: If the electorate votes YES, the election of MMDCEs, Assembly and Unit Committee Members in the near future will be on a partisan basis.
If they vote NO, then the election of these candidates for the local level elections will be on a non-partisan basis as being practiced now.
By Emmanuel Amewugah, Daily Mail GH