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Ghanaians must “VOTE NO” during referendum- Coalition of former MMDCEs

Coalition of Former Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) has opposed the call for district assembly elections be conducted on partisan lines.

A referendum is to be held on December 17, 2019 which will ask Ghanaians whether they support the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to allow for political party involvement in District Assembly and Local Government Unit elections.

But a statement by former local government practitioners and signed by former MCE for Suhum, Margaret Ansei (Magoo) has warned Ghanaians of the dangers associated with voting ‘Yes’, calling for every eligible Ghanaian voter to vote ‘No’ to bring sanity in the local level elections.

“A yes vote is “a vote in absolute darkness,” the statement added.

Below is the statement;

21st November, 2019

OUR POSITION ON THE DECEMBER 17TH REFERENDUM

We the former local government practitioners oppose the December 17, 2019 referendum that seek to make the district assembly elections partisan and warn Ghanaians of the danger for political parties being elected to implement executive, legislative and deliberative functions on partisan basis. A yes vote is “a vote in absolute darkness.”

The referendum is being carried out in an undemocratic way by not providing voters with enough and accurate information. The information being churned out by the government connotes election of MMDCE’s when in fact the referendum seeks to amend Article 55(3) which bars partisan participation in district assembly elections. If it is about the election of MMDCE’s, a referendum is not required at all. Parliament can amend Article 243 (1). The misinformation and political arm twisting on the subject of the referendum have made Ghanaians confused about the issues which need to be clarified.

Amending Article 55(3) will give more power and influence to the politician rather than the citizens in the community. Have the politicians accounted positively for the power and influence given to them at the national level? How have the Members of  Parliament influence and power benefited the constituents?  What is the development situation at the orphan constituencies?

Development at the local assemblies has no political colours, hence developmental projects are not usually abandoned. Voting implementation officers along partisan lines will invariably result in development on parochial partisan lines at the local level.

Enforcement of assembly by-laws will also be very difficult since party loyalists may or may not comply with orders under the disguise of party membership. Also revenue generation will face a lot of challenges such as non-payment, refusal and consideration on party lines among others leading to a fall in internal revenue generation which impedes local development.

National policies on health, education, sanitation, agriculture etc. are implemented at the local assembly on a non-partisan basis making it accessible to all and sundry.  How easy can an NPP-MMDCE, assembly members, and unit committee members, implement NDC central government programs and policies on the above?

We therefore urge Ghanaians to VOTE NO on 17th December.

NO vote cannot deprive election of MMDCEs; it will enforce the vision of the framers of our constitution not to make local governance partisan in order to enhance development and societal cohesion.

VOTE NO because assembly/unit committee members are volunteers for community development and not partisan.

VOTE NO to ensure continuity of community development projects and programs.

VOTE NO to save our cherished Local Government structure.

VOTE NO to improve the role of traditional authorities at the assemblies.

VOTE NO to avoid partisan divisiveness and political selfish decisions at the assemblies.

VOTE NO to ensure the protection of community interest and accountability.

We call on Ghanaians to VOTE NO in order not to give a blank cheque to the government and the political Parties to permeate our already polarized partisan politics into our local assembly structure on 17th December, 2019 referendum.

Signed

Margaret Ansei {Magoo}

PRO

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