Minister proposes withdrawal of Dec 17 referendum over alleged attacks on president Akufo-Addo

The Regional Reorganisation and Development Minister has proposed a total withdrawal of the December 17 referendum over what he said are attacks on President Akufo-Addo’s person.

Dan Kwaku Botwe is convinced some persons are unjustifiably hurling invectives at the President over government-backed ‘YES’ campaign for an upcoming referendum.

The December 17 referendum seeks to amend the law to enable Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and unit committee members to be elected along political party lines.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Burning Issue, he said if people will disrespect the President for his intention to deepen Ghana’s democracy by relinquishing his power to appoint MMDCEs to voters, then he would advise the President to cancel the whole referendum.

In his view, calls for the referendum to be postponed to enable more stakeholder consultation are not good enough but a total withdrawal of the referendum is better.

His comments come on the back of a call by Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, that the referendum should be postponed to enable better voter education on issues.

Mr Botwe said cancelling the entire referendum to maintain the status quo would rather help if the good intentions of the President would stir up controversy.

The Okere Legislator further argued that the problems of multi-party democracy should not be presented as a justification to stifle democracy.

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”.