Dissenting Ras Mubarak summoned to face NDC leaders for breaking party line in December referendum

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Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, is expected to appear before the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) today, November, 19,2019.

His summons, according to, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the party is to give him the opportunity to better explain why he has decided to go against the party’s decision on the upcoming December 17, referendum.

“Our constitution binds everybody to abide by the rules and decision of the party and so any party member who chooses to go against the decision of the party must know the implication because of that since we heard that view espouse on some networks in the country……”

“We have since invited that honorable member to appear before the Functional Executive Committee this afternoon to bring clarity to the statement he’s alleged to have made.”  Nketia said.

Ras Mubarak went against his party’s , ‘No’ vote decision to campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote as championed by the government in the December 7 referendum

According to him, the arguments against the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution which seeks to introduce partisanship in local government election is weak and unacceptable.

He argues that, local government related activities are stronger in countries like the United Kingdom because they created the space for politicians to get involved in local level election.

‘In countries like the United Kingdom, the councils are very strong because you won’t even be voted for if you stand as an independent candidate for an election and that has strengthened local governance in the UK and places where they have created the space for politicians to sponsor local level elections,’ he said.

Reacting to the  Mubarak’s decision to publicly back the ‘Yes’ campaign contrary to the party’s position, the NDC General Secretary said he has invited the MP to appear before FEC

“Before any democratic organisation takes a decision, there’s always a debate if there is internal democracy in that organisation because the foundation of democratic governance is debate.

Sounding proverbial, he said the internal debate was  founded on the assumption that “wisdom does not lie in one head” adding that ”the party need classes of opinion to allow truth to emanate so before we take a decision in this party, we allow for free debate, people share their opinion from their own perceptive …

…But after that debate, as happens in Parliament, there’s always a decision so when the party decides, that represents the party position. That position, therefore, becomes binding on all the Members of Parliament.”

…if he is oblivious to the provisions of our party constitution, we will update him on what the provision means and the implications of what he is doing”  Nketsia said.

BACKGROUND

To amend the constitution to allow political parties to participate in local government elections, at least 40 per cent of eligible voters have to turn up  with at least 75 percent of the voters thumbing ‘Yes’ for the campaign to succeed.

The constitutional requirement underscores the need for the government to gather bi-partisan support and form a coalition of stakeholders in civil society, traditional authorities and religious groups to back the YES campaign.

But there are developing fractures among stakeholders. The National House of Chiefs appears divided.  The NDC, which during the consultative stages pledged support for political party participation in local polls, now says it will campaign against it.

The opposition party wants some concerns addressed if it is to change its stance.

Source The Ghana Report/Aba Asamoah
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