Politics of Monday, 9 December 2019
Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah has taken on former President John Mahama seeking to school the latter on his understanding of the word “consensus”.
“Consensus is different from unanimity…I think President Mahama knows the difference between consensus and unanimity”, he disclosed following former President John Mahama’s denial of claims by his successor that, they reached a consensus at a meeting on the abortive referendum.
According to the senior government official, though, he was not present at the particular meeting among the former presidents but he has strong convictions that the majority carried the day.
“Has President Rawlings, President Kufuor also denied that? If a decision is said to be consensus, it doesn’t mean everyone agreed so therefore if only former President John Mahama out of the four does not agree, it doesn’t mean there was no consensus. Consensus is different from unanimity”, the lawmaker for Suame stated.
Prior to announcing the withdrawal of the contentious referendum in a national broadcast a week ago, President Nana Akufo-Addo said he had believed that a meeting he had with the three former presidents -John Rawlings, John Kufuor and John Mahama- on April 18, 2017, at which the referendum was discussed, ended with a general agreement that political parties be allowed to participate in local assembly elections.
December 17 Referendum aborted
President Akufo-Addo has announced the withdrawal of the December 17 Referendum.
This is to allow time for further consultations with key stakeholders and the public in general, Nana Akufo-Addo announced in a special broadcast to the nation, Sunday.
“It is with deep regrets that I have given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development who will spear this process on behalf of government with commendable vigour and dynamism to abort the process and seek the withdrawal of the Bills for the amendment of the constitution both in respect of Article 243(1) and Article 55(3),” the President stated.
The referendum was seeking to amend the law to enable Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and unit committee members to be elected along political party lines.
However, the question of whether to allow political party participation at the local government level has dominated discussions with the leading opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaigning for a ‘No Vote’.