Three political parties are rallying support for a “YES vote” in the upcoming referendum, indicating that the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) will speed up development at the local level.
According to the Convention People’s Party (CPP), National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), they had already begun to use their party structures and other platforms to educate and sensitise Ghanaians to the need to turn up in their numbers and vote yes in the December 17, 2019 referendum.
In separate interviews with the Daily Graphic, the Chairperson of the CPP, Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim, the acting General Secretary of the NDP, Mr Mohammed Frimpong, and the acting Chairman of the LGP, Mr John Ameka, contended that amending Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution to allow for the election of MMDCEs was the right way to ensure rapid progress at the local level.
Ghana will on December 17, this year, head to the polls to vote on a referendum to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to allow for the election of MMDCEs.
Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched provision, states that “Subject to the provisions of this Article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character; and sponsor candidates for election to any public office other than the district assemblies or lower local government units”.
On the same day of the referendum, there will be the election of members of the district assemblies and unit committees.
CPP geared up
The Chairperson of the CPP, Hajia Ibrahim, said the party was ready and willing to rally more support to amend Article 55 (3) and allow for the election of MMDCEs.
She said electing MMDCEs had the potential to advance development projects at the community level and at the same time, deepen Ghana’s democratic credentials.
Hajia Ibrahim said while electing MMDCEs was one part, empowering them with the needed resources to develop their communities was another.
Asked what the party was doing to raise more awareness of the referendum, she said the CPP was already using its platforms to educate Ghanaians on the benefits of voting ‘yes’.
Explaining how electing MMDCEs would benefit the party, Mr Frimpong said it would be a dream come true for the NDP because the party had called for such powers to the local people to elect their own political-administrative heads.
He mentioned that development at the local level had stalled because the people did not have the power to decide on who to lead them.
“That is why the NDP believes that giving the power to the community to decide is the surest way to ensure accountability and development at the local level,” Mr Frimpong said.
He said allowing the community to elect MMDCEs would open up a new revolution where the people would participate directly in the development of their community.
“Without that, governance will never take shape in the country,” Mr Frimpong added.
On rallying support for a yes vote, he said the NDP “is the third most visible party in the country and will use its various offices in the constituency and regional level to educate the citizens”.
The acting National Chairman of the LPG, Mr John Ameka, said the party had given its full support for a ‘yes’ vote to allow multi-party democracy at the grass-roots level.
“This is because the competition will be idea-based and not necessarily money to influence the people who already need development desperately,” he said.
On sensitising Ghanaian voters to vote ‘yes’, he said the founder and leader of the LPG, Mr Kofi Akpaloo, had begun “his education campaign and is touring institutions to mobilise support to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution”.
He, therefore, called on Ghanaians to turn up in their numbers and vote to amend the Constitution and allow for the election of MMDCEs.
Source: Daily Graphic
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