Voting ‘Yes’ in December 17 referendum could hurt President, political parties – Legal practitioner

General News of Sunday, 17 November 2019



File photo

A lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law School Justice Srem-Sai, has indicated that the attempt to allow partisanship at the local level has the tendency to affect any President elected into power, as well as, his political party, ABC News can report.

According to him, once the majority of Ghanaians vote ‘Yes’ in the December 17, the hopes of people who had contributed to the party coming into power hoping to be rewarded with local government positions will be dashed.

A strong case has been made by some Civil Society Organizations, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Traditional authorities and some major stakeholders about how the proposed amendment of the article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution will stifle development at the local level.

Adding his voice to the growing debate, the private legal practitioner indicated that polarizing governance at the local level will take away accountability from the elected members.

“The thing about local government where they are not made political, they become stronger and they entrench democracy. If you go to some states in Canada where they are not elected on partisan basis, they are very accountable to the people and that is the purpose of what the people are asking.

“Now the question is when you take 245 appointment positions from the president you have hurt him. You have hurt not just the President but the political parties as well. Because this is the reward basis for all political parties, when they win power, that is when you reward all the persons that have campaigned for you so the politician is faced with a dilemma. It’s a simple question, and we shed off this massive reward vehicle, what happens to us? he quizzed.

The Referendum on December 17, 2019, seeks to amend Article 55 (3) to enable political parties to sponsor candidates for elections to District Assemblies or lower Local Government Units. It has been greeted with mixed reactions from a number of interest groups.

The Referendum will be conducted concurrently with the election of Assembly and Unit Committee Members.