NDC writes to President Akufo-Addo on withdrawn referendum
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has written to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo requesting fresh talks on the constitutional provision that bars political parties in local level elections.
Article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution debars political parties from sponsoring candidates in local level elections.
The provision in Article 55(3) was the subject of a referendum on December 17, 2019 but following what President Akufo-Addo said was a lack of a national consensus ahead of the referendum, he called off the process and cited the NDC’s failure to engage.
In a 4-page letter written by the National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo to the President, he explained that the NDC has constituted a team to engage with government on the way forward.
Listing the matters the NDC would want to be discussed during the engagement, Mr Ofosu Ampofo mentioned the text of the amendment to Article 55(3), consequential constitutional amendments to be enacted pursuant to the amendment of Article 55(3) such as Article 248(1) which talks about candidates seeking election to local level elections presenting themselves as individuals and shall not use any symbol associated to any political party.
Article 248(2) on its part talks about political parties not endorsing, sponsoring or offering platforms to candidates seeking election in local level elections.
To the NDC, these are the parts of the constitution that they would want an engagement as to what amendments should be done to them.
In the letter, Mr Ofosu Ampofo proposed a discussion on constitutional amendments to be enacted but on which a consensus is required such as 242(D) which talks about not more than 30 per cent of members in local assemblies being appointed by the president and what should happen to that 30 per cent.
The NDC is proposing that, that 30 per cent should be left for the chiefs/traditional authorities to nominate members and a discussion as to who will sponsor the partisan elections at the local level, as to whether the state should continue to sponsor as it is currently or the cost should be transferred to political parties and cost of organising primaries to select candidates for the various political parties.
The party also wants a discussion on how partisan Assembly Members considered hostile to the central government would not be discriminated against when it comes to the allocation of resources.