December 17 Referendum aborted

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President Akufo-Addo has announced the withdrawal of the December 17 Referendum.

This is to allow time for further consultations with key stakeholders and the public in general, Nana Akufo-Addo announced in a special broadcast to the nation, Sunday.

“It is with deep regrets that I have given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development who will spear this process on behalf of government with commendable vigour and dynamism to abort the process and seek the withdrawal of the Bills for the amendment of the constitution both in respect of Article 243(1) and Article 55(3),” the President stated.

The 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.

However, the question of whether to allow political party participation at the local government level has dominated major discussions with the leading opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaigning for a ‘No Vote’.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu

This led to calls for the President to withdraw the Bill in order to allow time for further engagement with electorate on the need to have Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, amended.

“In these circumstances, I am convinced that it will not serve the public interest to go ahead with the holding of the referendum on the 17th December even though I believe that a strong campaign for a Yes vote would have succeeded,” President said in the broadcast that lasted less than 10 minutes.

A successful amendment would make the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) open to political parties.

The government needs at least 40 percent of eligible voters turning out to vote and at least 75 percent voting in favour for its ‘Yes’ campaign to succeed.

Source: Myjoyonline

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