The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has assured that it will soon begin public sensitization on the upcoming referendum on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs)
It follows concerns raised by the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference about the lack of public education on the exercise to prepare the ground for a successful referendum.
A section of the public seems unaware of the upcoming referendum; a situation many fear will lead to apathy. While admitting that the situation is true, Chairman of the NCCE, Josephine Nkrumah indicated that funding for the public campaign has been secured to pave way for education on the referendum.
“It is true that for now we haven’t heard a lot about the upcoming referendum but I can assure you that, NCCE is working very closely with the Ministry to that in the shortest possible time, we will begin our engagement with the citizenry on the upcoming referendum and awareness creation around it. This involves intensive campaign and requires quite a bit of funding. So, we have been working with the Ministry so that the budget that we have gave them; we’ve gone back and forth with them and seeking funding from other sources so that we can begin the engagement with the citizenry”, she said on Eyewitness News.
“We have finally gotten the nod and the money will be coming through the EU and IMCC and hopefully, sometime next week we will see clear concrete actions on funding that allows us to begin our engagement. It is from the IMCC that we getting this partner support to begin our awareness creation and sensitization of the upcoming referendum on December 10”, she added.
Low public education
Although the Electoral Commission has slated December 10, 2019, for the referendum, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference is worried by the seeming lack of information on the upcoming referendum.
But, the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Reverend Philip Naameh, said it was “rather worrying that such an important has not received the level of participation in the discussions leading to it despite the fact that if successful, it will lead to the amendment of an important entrenched article of the national constitution.”
The election of MMDCEs was a major campaign promise of the New Patriotic Party in the run-up to the 2016 election.
The government most recent step in this regard was presenting the amendment bill to Parliament.
The current law, in Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, says:
“There shall be a District Chief Executive for every district who shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the assembly present and voting at the meeting.”