“Do you want political parties to participate in District Level Elections: Yes or No,” Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education said that’s all the December 17 Referendum is about.
The NCCE Chairperson told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Tema that the December 17 Referendum was only to determine whether political parties should participate in district level governance or not.
Ms. Nkrumah explained that; “the Referendum is only about Ghanaians voting either YES to allow political parties to participate in District Level Elections or NO to let the status quo prevail where political parties do not participate in district level elections”.
She said December 17 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).
Article 55 (3) 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 elections to any public office other than to District Assemblies or lower local government units”.
She explained that it was an entrenched provision which could only be amended through a Referendum, which per Article 290(4)could be approved when at least 40 percent of persons entitled to vote, at the referendum and at least 75 percent of the votes cast should be in favour of passing the bill.
The NCCE Chairperson noted that on December 17, every electorate was required to undertake three basic steps at the polling stations to vote: thus vote for at most five candidates as Unit Committee members and secondly vote for one candidate as Assembly Member.
The third activity before you leave the polling station is to vote either Yes for or No for the Referendum, “these are the basic things to do on December 17, in conformity with all electoral laws of the country”.
Ms Nkrumah noted that the amendment to the 1992 Constitution to allow the electorate to elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) was currently before Parliament and as soon as it was done, “we will then elect our MMDCEs”.