The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is urging voters to vote “NO” during the December 17, 2019, national referendum on whether or not the 1992 Constitution should be amended to open up local government elections to partisan participation.
According to the party, a “YES” vote will further polarize the nation, particularly local communities along the lines of NPP / NDC, and will likely lead to the creation of “NDC Communal Labour day” and “NPP Communal Labour day”, as well as “NDC market” and “NPP market”.
The referendum as we have been told, seeks to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution. That amendment has nothing to do with the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs). A Notice put out by the EC saying among others that “the referendum is to approve or reject the provision on whether MMDCEs are to be voted or not” is a palpable falsehood.
“The NCCE has noted with concern misinformation in the media that the 17th December, 2019 referendum is to elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs). The Commission wishes to clarify that the 2019 National Referendum is to enable citizens to vote on the proposed amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution that currently bars political parties from participating in District Level Elections (DLEs). The proposed amendment is to introduce multi-party participation in the Local Government System in Ghana”.
The NCCE clarification has been the NDC position all along, that the Government was deliberately misleading people into believing that the referendum is to elect MMDCEs, knowing that the election of MMDCEs is the peoples’ preference. No less a personality than President Akufo-Addo himself made this false claim last week. In fact, the NCCE should have called out the President for peddling misinformation and untruths.
It is our well considered view, and indeed that of well meaning Ghanaians, that the needless NDC-NPP polarization at the national level should not be extended into the District Assemblies and Unit Committees, which is what will happen if we vote to make the local government system partisan.
The consequence of exporting this polarization into the District Assemblies is that very soon in our villages, there will be “NDC Communal Labour day” and “NPP Communal Labour day”. There will also be “NDC market” and “NPP market” And so on and so forth. We of the NDC believe that all our towns and villages should have one communal Labour day, and one market and we can only achieve this by voting NO.