Information officers schooled on referendum

General News of Wednesday, 23 October 2019



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Thirty-four municipal and district information officers, as well as commentators of the Information Services Department (ISD) in the Eastern Region have received orientation on the forthcoming referendum and district assembly elections.

The programme, which was organised by the Information Services Department (ISD) in Koforidua, is aimed at equipping the officers to support qualified voters to actively participate in the forthcoming December 17 referendum and district assembly elections.

The officers were also briefed on the district level elections guidelines, how to convince people to understand the concept of the referendum, specifically Article 243 (1) and Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, and were urged to educate the people to massively vote “Yes”.

Massive vote

Addressing the participants, the acting Eastern Regional Officer of the ISD, Mrs Sethlina Adwoa Okai, said the orientation was to prepare all information officers within the region adequately to enable them to intensify their education in order to get high numbers of people to vote at the district assembly elections and in the referendum.

Ghana Energy Awards She called on the information officers to encourage the people to turn out massively to vote “Yes”.

“We need 40 per cent turnout of qualified people to vote in order to obtain 75 per cent of the total votes before Article 55 (3), which is an entrenched provision, can be amended and become law,” Mrs Okai explained.

Mrs Okai stated that the exercise was absolutely necessary as the election of metropolitan municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) would strengthen accountability to the people at the local level.

She further cautioned the officers to educate the public very well about the essence of the referendum and desist from confusing them with irrelevant issues.

Local government

For his part, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for New Juaben South, Mr Isaac Appaw-Gyasi, told the officers that the government was committed to giving power to the people to elect their own MMDCEs to improve socio-economic development of the communities.

He stressed that the officers owed the government a duty to educate the public to better understand the rationale for the exercise.

This exercise, Mr Appaw-Gyasi explained, would fulfil the constitutional amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution which seeks to introduce a multi-partisan local government system in the country.

“I urge you all to eschew all forms of personal interest and educate the public on the need to go to their various polling centres to vote on December 17, 2019, as stated by the Electoral Commission ( EC ),” the MCE said.

Mr Appaw-Gyasi urged the municipal and district information officers to “extend their education campaign to the churches, mosques, schools and also use the information centres.”