December 17 referendum: House of Chiefs legal C’ttee denies backing a ‘No Vote’ campaign

Source The Ghana Report/Sefanam Agbobli

The legal committee of the National House of Chiefs says it did not back a ‘NO Vote’ in the upcoming referendum on local level elections.

The referendum is to determine whether political parties should be involved in local level elections.

A statement issued by the House of Chiefs declaring support for a ‘no vote’ in the December 17 referendum said their position was on the advice of the legal committee of the House.

But in an interview on Accra based Starr FM which was monitored by The Ghana Report, Chairman of the legal committee of the House, Nana Professor S.K.B. Asante denied the claims.

According to him, they only raised some concerns about the sidelining of Chiefs ahead of the all important referendum.

“We did not specifically advise a ‘NO VOTE’ to our colleagues. I’m contemplating an emergency meeting with my colleagues so we thrash this thing out. The memorandum made by the NHC to the Minister did not press for a ‘NO VOTE’. That is the fact,” he said.

After the declaration of the ‘NO Vote’ campaign, two Chiefs including the Okyehene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin have distanced themselves from the stance of the House.

“The Committee of the Whole House has not been informed or met on the matter in question. The Leadership of the various Regional House of Chiefs have not been informed or consulted,” he said in a statement.

Also, Chairman of the Governance Committee of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi, who has openly distanced himself from the ‘no vote’ campaign described the position of the President of the House of chiefs as unfortunate.

“It’s rather unfortunate that Togbe is saying I’m being mischievous. It really is unfortunate. I still stand by my statement that the National House of Chiefs have not met to advise members to vote NO during the referendum.”

Meanwhile, President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede the fourteenth has debunked claims by some chiefs that the house’s decision to strongly reject multi-party participation at the local governance level was unilateral.

In a statement, Togbe Afede described his colleagues as “dishonest” and exhibiting “wanton mischief”

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