The Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) has expressed disappointment in what it describes as a “sudden change of mind” by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) regarding the upcoming referendum.
The party said the decision of the two parties to ask Ghanaians to vote “No” in the December 17 referendum “is a betrayal to a collective decision made by political parties to solicit for a Yes vote”.
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“LPG is, therefore, calling on the Ghanaian voting community to disregard the stance the NDC and PNC have taken and go all out to vote ‘Yes’ in the national referendum,” the founder and leader of the party, Mr Kofi Akpaloo, said at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
Ghana will, on December 17, this year, head to the polls to vote in a referendum to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to allow for the election of MMDCEs.
Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched provision, states: “Subject to the provisions of this article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character and sponsor candidates for election to any public office other than the district assemblies or lower local government units.”
On the same day of the referendum, there will be the election of members of the district assemblies and unit committees.
Breach of trust
Mr Akpaloo said the position of the NDC and the PNC on the referendum “is a breach of trust and a huge betrayal to the political actors in the country”
“Before the campaign for the referendum, all stakeholders, including the NDC and the PNC, met at the Jubilee House and agreed to campaign for Yes vote. So for the NDC and the PNC to come out and ask the public to vote No is shocking to the LPG,” he said.
At the meeting to decide on the Yes vote, Mr Akpaloo said the representatives of the two parties namely; Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia of the NDC and Mr Bernard Mornah of the PNC, were present and agreed to every single decision made.
“So how come few weeks to the referendum, these two parties will come out and tell Ghanaians to vote No when they had agreed to vote Yes?,” he asked.
Mr Akpaloo said the action of the NDC in particular was evidence that “the party cannot be trusted to lead Ghana, since they are not willing to do anything they say they will”.
He said one thing the LPG and other political parties, including the New Patriotic Party (NDC), believed was that amending Article 55(3) of the Constitution to allow political parties to participate in the district level elections “is a great course to pursue”.
“Already, the district level elections are being done on partisan basis and people are choosing candidates based on political parties. We cannot pretend it is not happening,” he said.
To allow political parties to fully participate in the district level election, Mr Akpaloo said, would only go a long way to enhance the country’s democratic growth.
“As for the LPG, we will continue to campaign for a Yes vote and we will urge every single voter to go out and do same,” he added.