Politics of Saturday, 16 November 2019
NDC Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, has broken ranks with the party over the participation of political parties in local level polls.
According to him, it will be hypocritical for anyone to suggest that political parties are not already involved in the local level elections.
The NDC is canvassing for a ‘No’ vote in the upcoming referendum on whether political parties should be allowed to openly participate in the election of assemblymen and women.
The party says such a move will further divide Ghanaians along party lines.
But speaking to Starr News, Mr. Mubarak said he disagrees with the position of his party.
“Certainly the NDC as a political party has some challenges with aspects of the bill which we have made clear. I respect the party’s position but I completely disagree with the party that we should be advocating for a ‘No’ vote at the referendum. My position for a ‘Yes’ vote is hinged on the fact there is political party involvement in the elections anyway. In every part of the district there is hardly any assemblyman or woman who is not tacitly on one political party or the other, go the assemblies and check. we shouldn’t play ostritch in the election of assemblymen and women is concerned,” he told Starr News Ibrahim Alhassan.
The National House of Chiefs has called on Ghanaians to vote ‘No’ in the December 17 referendum.
According to the chiefs, allowing political parties to participate in the local polls will further promote exclusiveness associated with political power in the country.
In a statement signed by the President of the House of Chiefs, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli state, Togbe Afede XIV, the traditional rulers said: ” While we are aware that the election of chief executives of districts etc. could result in the coexistence of central government and local government controlled by different political parties, experience clearly demonstrates that the culture of “winner takes all” would prevail at the level to the detriment of our united development endeavors.
“We are concerned that the introduction of partisan policies into local government will be accompanied by the unwholesome political culture and the corruption associated with partisan politics, which has already done a lot of harm to our society and economy”.
The statement added: “the incidence of exclusiveness, the unhealthy politicization of all issues, the marginalization of citizens who do not belong to the ruling party. and the exclusion of skilled manpower on partisan grounds would be detrimental to development and good governance at thecal level.
“We want the citizenry to know that the referendum is meant to permit unbridled partisan politics into local government and so the merits of the proposed reform should be assessed on that basis. We strongly recommend its rejection by the citizens”.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo and former electoral commission chairperson Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan have openly declared support for a ‘yes’ vote on the referendum.