A local government analyst, George Kyei Baffour has admonished Ghanaians to place importance on the December 17th Referendum and vote YES, because to him, it will lead to increased accountability at the local level.
According to him, the YES vote which is geared towards accomplishing a constitutional mandate, would ensure greater participation of the citizenry in the decision-making process for good governance.
Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of a nationwide sensitization and stakeholders engagement of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) members and the public on the election of Metropolitan and Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCE) in Sunyani, he said that it would be disastrous if Ghanaians allow the opportunity to be blown away.
“This is one of the novelty of opportunities that Ghanaians have had and if Ghanaians fail for one reason or the other to vote YES to sustain the inherence of the referendum, that will be a disaster for the nation for a very long time to come,” he said.
“I say this because, it is a novelty of an opportunity for Ghanaians to have the opportunity to determine who leads them and who controls executive power at the local government level. At the moment, the President controls virtually all executive authorities at the local levels. That is against the principles of our constitution. But because it is part of the constitution, there is nothing we could do. If we allow the people to elect their leaders, they will hold them accountable,” he added.
December 17th Referendum
The Electoral Commission (EC) has scheduled December 17, 2019, to conduct a referendum to approve the bill to amend Clause 3 of Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution.
This bill when passed will allow political parties to fund candidates for election to district assemblies and lower local government units.
The purpose of this referendum is to see if Ghanaians are “in favour of the Bill to amend Clause 3 of Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution to allow political parties to sponsor candidates for election to district assemblies or lower local government units.
The amendment of Article 55(3) would also pave way for political parties’ participation in the district level election and consequently, Parliament would also amend the Article 243 (1) for the mandate to appoint MMDCEs by the President to change for the electorate rather to elect them as their superintendents at the local level.