Religious/traditional leaders urged to encourage citizens to participate in Referendum

By
Rashid Mbugri/Emmanuel Gamson, GNA

Tamale, Oct. 9, GNA
– The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Wednesday urged
religious and traditional leaders in the Northern Region to encourage citizens
to actively participate in the upcoming District Level Elections (DLEs) and
Referendum for constitutional amendment.

Alhaji Abdul Razak
Saani, the Northern Regional Director of the NCCE, said this at the launch of a
public sensitization and awareness creation campaign on the DLEs and Referendum
for the amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, slated for
December 17, 2019.

He said citizens’
active participation in the exercise would ensure the election of competent
leaders who would be accountable and drive sustainable development.

Traditional
authorities, religious leaders, representatives from the Ghana Education
Service, Civil Society Organisations, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), youth
groups, and political parties, among others, attended.

Mr Kojo Tito, the
Secretary to the NCCE, said Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution gave the
President the mandate to appoint metropolitan, municipal and district chief
executives (MMDCEs) with two-third majority approval from the assembly.

That, he said,
needed to be amended to enhance inclusive democratic governance and
transformational development.

He added that
Article 55 (3) was an entrenched clause and could only be amended with public
approval in a national referendum.

He said the NCCE
conducted a research in 2014, which revealed that majority of the citizenry
preferred that MMDCEs were elected, hence the referendum.

Mr Tito said DLEs
and the Referendum would require citizens to vote on three issues; the election
of Unit Committee members, Assembly members and to Vote “Yes” or
“No” for the participation of political parties in the election of
MMDCEs.

He said at least 40
per cent or more out of the total registered voters must turn out to vote, out
of which 75 per cent or more must vote in favour of the Referendum.

He, therefore,
encouraged the electorates to come out in their numbers to vote on the slated
date to propel sustainable development in their respective areas.

Mr Lukas Yiryel,
the Northern Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, said DLEs and
referendum would require registered voters to vote on three ballots; the Unit
Committee Chairs ballot, the Assembly Members ballot and finally the referendum
ballot.

Mr Salifu Saeed,
the Northern Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, said the
referendum was government’s vision to enhance and strengthen the
decentralisation system at the district level and urged participants to carry
out the message to help make the vision a reality.

GNA

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