Earlier, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) urged voters to vote "NO" during the December 17, 2019, national referendum on whether or not the 1992 Constitution should be amended to open up local government elections to partisan participation.
According to the party, a "YES" vote will further polarize the nation, particularly local communities along the lines of NPP / NDC, and will likely lead to the creation of "NDC Communal Labour day" and "NPP Communal Labour day", as well as "NDC market" and "NPP market".
A statement authored by Togbe Afede XIV and Nana Kweku Ewusi VII, President and Vice-President respectively, opposing the December referendum, has drawn fury, denial and harsh remarks among the top chiefs.
Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, Paramount Chief of Sefwi Anwhiaso Traditional Area and President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, who doubles as Chairman of the Governance Committee of the National House of Chiefs, described the statement as bogus and arbitrary and added that it smacked of ‘drunkenness and abuse of power’ by Togbe Afede and Nana Kweku Ewusi.
The Okyenhene and other prominent chiefs from the Eastern Region have also distanced themselves from the statement made by the president of the House of Chiefs and his vice.
Togbe Afede who does not appear ready to countenance dissent on the matter has described the reaction of his colleagues as consistent with 'dishonesty'.
However, the Communications Bureau of the NDC has given 10 reasons why electorates must vote NO in the December 17, referendum.
ON THE IMPENDING DECEMBER 17TH REFERENDUM
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The December 17th Referendum is not about whether or not MMDCEs should be elected. Rather, it is about allowing political parties to sponsor candidates in unit committee, assembly member and MMDCE elections.
Thus, simply put, A YES vote is for partisanship in our local government system and a NO vote is for a United Ghana at the local government level.
10 REASONS WHY EVERY GHANAIAN MUST VOTE NO
- Vote NO to avoid the needless political divisiveness and rancor at the local level, and rather promote unity and cohesion at the local government level.
- Vote NO to deepen stakeholder consultations and consensus-building for development at the local government level. This is what propels the development of local communities, not political grandstanding.
- Vote NO for a less expensive and less monetized election system at the local government level. Local politics must not be the preserve of the highest bidder and those with moneybags.
- Vote NO to encourage competent Ghanaians who don’t want to be tagged with partisanship to participate in governance at the local level.
- Vote NO to avoid the party whip system and protect the independence of Assembly and unit committee members in decision-making at the local government level.
- Vote NO to ensure the continuity of developmental projects at the local government level in the supreme interest of the community. The phenomenon of abandoned projects will only get worse if a YES vote is entertained.
- Vote NO to deepen accountability of Assembly and unit committee members as well as elected MMDCEs to the people at the local government level.
- Vote NO to avoid an expensive and exclusionary political primaries system which will produce mainly the affluent, the educated, etc. as assembly members and unit committee members.
- Vote NO to avoid inimical partisan acrimony which sometimes prolongs even after elections, and ensure civility and decorum in local government elections.
- Vote NO for community-interest decisions and not parochial partisan decisions at the local government level. Long before parties were formed, communities existed and governed themselves.
CONCLUSION: Enough of the extreme partisanship that ails Ghana’s development at the national level. VOTE NO TO PROTECT GHANA’S LOCAL GOVERNMENT SYSTEM FROM DESTRUCTION. Ghana first!