…On Dec. 17 Referendum & Governance
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta region, has said the party is ready to organize extensive free extra-classes for President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the upcoming December 17 referendum on local governance to allow the party have fair understanding of the issues.
According to the Regional Secretary of the party, James Gunu, should the President and his party officials avail themselves for this significant free classes, they would have a change of mind and perhaps, join the “NO” campaign.
“I believe President Akufo-Addo will vote “NO” at the referendum after the free extra-classes is given”, Mr Gunu told The Herald in a phone interview last Friday.
He also accused the President and the executive arm, of having an agenda to change the country from the current Unitary State to a Federal State of government, through the controversial December 17 referendum.
According to him, “the non-partisan spirit in the 1992 constitution is a twin one, which is; the local governance and chieftaincy” and therefore should not be made partisan which could further divide the country.
For now, Mr Gunu, asking the government to provide answers to some critical questions put together by Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) on why the government is pushing for political party involvement in District Assembly and Local Government Unit elections.
Just like the Chamber for Local Governance, Mr Gunu said, he is also patiently waiting for answers to these critical questions below; which has the potential to further give Ghanaians a better understanding of the implications of a YES Vote at the Referendum.
Below are the critical questions to government:
- Why is the government not prioritizing the amendment of Article 243 (1) by parliament first before pushing very hard for Article 55 (3) to be amended through a Referendum?
- Why is government rather waiting for a YES Vote in the Referendum before it can deal with the consequential amendments in the election of MMDCEs? Is the upcoming Referendum about election of MMDCEs?
- Why is it that, the government did not set a specific date for Parliament to sit and amend Article 243(1) just us it did for the amendment of Article 55(3) through the Referendum?
- Will elected MMDCEs be allowed the free hand to employ and dismiss their own staff in the various MMDAs?
- Which Party Manifesto would opposition MMDCEs be required to implement?
- Will elected MMDCEs be allowed the free hand to initiate their own development projects using the District Assembly Common Fund at the expense of Government flagship projects?
7.What is the winner take all advantage for a Political Party if Assembly and Unit Committee Members are elected on their party ticket?
8.Will Assembly and Unit Committee Members be paid now because they are going to be elected on partisan basis?
- Will Assembly Members be allocated any Electoral Area Development Fund because they are now going to be elected on partisan basis?
- Will the Regional Coordinating Councils continue to exist after the MMDCEs are elected on partisan basis?
- Will the Office of the Head of Local Government Service continue to exist after the MMDCEs have been elected on partisan basis?
12.Will the MMDAs become semi-autonomous or autonomous institutions because the MMDCEs are going to be elected on partisan basis?
13.Will the government of the day guarantee the prompt payment of District Assemblies Common Fund to opposition MMDCEs?
- What will happen if a Political Party issues a three-line whip for its MMDCEs not to get involved in the implementation of a particular government programme or project?
- What then becomes of the role of Chiefs if the local government system is made partisan, as the 1992 Constitution debars Chiefs from engaging in partisan politics?
- Is it only the case that, the Local Government elections are made partisan before the local people can be afforded the opportunity to choose their own leaders?
17.Is it only the case that, MMDCEs would have to be elected on partisan basis before they can be accountable to the people?
- Is it only the case that, MMDCEs would have to be elected on partisan basis before it can give full meaning to popular participation by allowing MMDCEs to truly represent the Central Government as required by Law?
- Is it only the case that, MMDCEs would have to be elected on partisan basis before they can have a security of tenure?
- Is it only the case that, without partisan politics competent people can never ever be elected as MMDCEs?
- Is it only the case that, a person can only become popular to be elected as MMDCE if and only if he or she contests on party ticket?
- Will Central Government continue to award contracts and make payments for and on behalf of MMDAs if MMDCEs are elected on partisan basis?