Politics of Sunday, 17 November 2019
A private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu is urging President Akufo-Addo to permanently suspend the upcoming referendum on multi-party participation at the local governance level.
According to him, December 17 is nothing but a “waste” of the nation’s resources.
Relying heavily on the work of the Constitution Review Commission which suggested that “majority” of Ghanaians disapprove of partisan politics at the district assembly elections, Mr Kpebu asked Ghanaians to vote ‘NO’ if the referendum is held.
Speaking on TV3’s Saturday news analysis show, The Key Points, the lawyer wants the president to listen to the NO advocates and save the nation time and money.
“This referendum is a waste of resources,” Martin Kpebu asserted, insisting, “let’s call off the referendum”.
“Let’s spend our resources in a better manner, and use the money for this election on roads, schools etc,” he advised.
He was concerned about the monetization and other militating issues affecting national level elections like the presidential race. He therefore wants the situation at that level “perfected” before introducing it at the district assembly level.
“For now we are not ready,” he rejected calls by the YES advocates to get Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution amended.
The National House of Chiefs issued a statement on Friday asking Ghanaians to reject the amendment by voting NO. The largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress, as well as several well-known civil society groups, have campaigned for a NO vote.
But President Akufo-Addo and the governing New Patriotic Party are championing the campaign for YES vote
“It is time to strip the veneer of non-partisanship away and look at the reality, which is that they are multi-party and partisan. We want to bring democracy to the local level a step further, and entrust to the people the right to select directly themselves their MMDCEs as well as their MPs, and do so in an open, transparent, and partisan multi-party basis,” the president at a recent event in the Volta region.
The Constitution requires a turnout of 40% of the electorate, with 75 per cent of the turnout voting ‘yes’ for the repeal of Article 55(3) to be successful.