The much talked about December 17 referendum on whether there should be political involvement in district and municipal assembly elections or not has been cancelled by the President, Nana Akufo Addo.
The President cited the lack of a broad, national consensus amongst key stakeholders and the populace.
The President has, thus, instructed the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, MP, who is spearheading the process, on behalf of government, to abort the process, and see to the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the Constitution, both in respect of article 243(1) and article 55(3).
Addressing the nation on Sunday, 1st December, 2019, the President indicated the attainment of a broad consensus, for him, on a matter as important as the amendment of an entrenched provision of the Constitution, is critical.
I do not believe that such an amendment should be driven as a party matter. There has to be a clear national consensus and agreement amongst the populace that a particular entrenched provision no longer serves the interest of the people, and, thus, has to be removed,” he said.
He continued, “In this case, it had been long apparent that political parties were, in fact, actively involved in district assembly elections, despite their apparently non-partisan nature. The time had come to strip the process of its hypocrisy, and accept and work with the reality of party involvement.”
Explaining the rationale for his decision, the President stated that that he came into office, nearly three years ago, with the firm conviction, emanating from the campaign and national discussions, that there was a national consensus for two important amendments to the country’s governance system, which would enhance its effectiveness and accountability – the reorganization of the country’s regional governance structure, and the potential involvement of political parties in local governance.
was in furtherance of this and other matters that, on Tuesday, 18th April, 2017, a little over four (4) months into my mandate, he held a meeting with his three predecessors, their Excellencies Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, and John Dramani Mahama, at Jubilee House, to seek their views and counsel on these issues.
“I came away from that meeting with the view that there was consensus amongst us that the time had come for political parties to participate openly in district assembly elections and local governance,” he said.