Referendum: Vote No – Ex-MMDCEs

Thursday, 21st November 2019

Members of the Coalition of former Metropolitan, Municipal, District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) have kicked against the 17 December 2019 referendum that seeks to make district assembly elections partisan.

According to the coalition, a ‘Yes’ vote is “a vote in absolute darkness.”

The former local government practitioners, in a statement, noted that 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 MMDCEs 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 MMDCEs, 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 confuse the issues which need to be clarified,” the statement said.

The group explained that amending Article 55(3) gives 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 has the MPs’ influence and power benefited the constituents? Is the cake not shared on party lines? What is the development situation in the orphan constituencies?” they quizzed.

The coalition noted that development at the local assemblies has no political colours, hence development projects are not normally abandoned but voting for implementing officers along partisan lines will, invariably, result in development on parochial partisan lines at the local level and possibly halt development projects started by a particular administration to the disadvantage of the local communities.

The former MMDCEs argued that 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,” if district assembly elections become partisan.

The group is, therefore, urging Ghanaians to vote ‘NO’ on 17 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,” the statement stressed.