Regional News Sun, 6 Oct 2019

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NCCE targets 75% turn out for referendum and District Level Elections

The National Commission on Civic Education in the Ashanti Region has set for itself a daunting objective to draw out 75% of electorates to cast their ballots in the Referendum and District Level Elections.

The December 17 referendum is to be held concurrently with the election of assembly and unit committee members; an exercise that has never had a turn out beyond 35%.

The NCCE is however poised it has what it takes to pull out a decent voter turnout in the interest of Ghana’s participatory governance at the local assemblies.

The Referendum is seeking amendments to Articles 243(1) and 55(3) for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and the introduction of political party participation in the local elections.

A sensitization program ahead of the referendum and district level elections in the Ashanti region has been launched to amplify interventions to educate and prod the interest of the populace to turn out in their numbers to partake in the exercise.

Speaking at the launch the National Chair for the NCCE, Josephine Nkrumah pointed out that the outreaches will be very crucial as it will take 40% voter turnout and a 75% YES vote to legitimize the referendum.

The plan to hit the region with massive campaigns had the buy in of the Political Parties; the Information Services Department, the Electoral Commission and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The Ashanti region director for the NCCE Wilson Arthur pointed out that his outfit is exploring all channels to ensure that it achieves a target of a 75% voter turnout in the region.

He told reporter Ivan Heathcote – Fumador, NCCE is very poised to step up education and awareness creation to make sure that many people if possible about 65% to 75% cast their votes this year.”

“We are going to use every means at our disposal; on vehicles, in trains, transport terminals, markets, churches, mosques, community information centres and every means that is at our disposal so that this year’s DLE and the referendum will receive a massive turnout,” Mr Wilson added.

The launch which was chaired by the Asem Chief Nana Ampofo Kyei Baffour the second and officiated by the Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister Elizabeth Agyeman; saw several interest groups present.

One notable group which made demands was the Federation for the disabled. The Kumasi Metro chairman of the GFD Prince Debrah called for all polling stations to be made accessible to person with disability.

He also demanded that the processes leading to the District Level Elections be made fair for all persons to contest devoid of conflicts.

The NCCE and its allied bodies will have to race against time as it has barely two and a half months to rake in public interest in the trio elections slated for the 17th of December.

Source: Ivan Heathcote-Fumador

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