‘December 17 referendum: Ras Mubarak breaks with NDC party line as Baba Jamal calls for punishment
A former government appointee in the NDC administration Baba Jamal, wants NDC MP Ras Mubarak punished for breaking ranks with the party’s decision to vote NO in the December 17 referendum.
Ras Mubarak, who is the Kumbungu NDC MP, says he will vote ‘YES’ as championed by the government in the referendum to allow political parties to also contest in local government elections.
The ‘NO’ camp fears, the involvement of political parties could lead to unwholesome partisanship and over-politicization of development issues as witnessed at the national level.
But in an interview, on Okay FM , monitored by The Ghana Report, the opposition MP said he holds no such fears as expressed by his party.
‘My position for a ‘Yes’ vote is hinged on the fact there is political party involvement in the elections anyway. In every part of the district there is hardly any assemblyman or woman who is not tacitly on one political party or the other, go the assemblies and check.
‘We shouldn’t play ostrich in the election of assemblymen and women is concerned’ he spoke in Twi.
Irked by this view, Babal Jamal who was a former Deputy Minister for Employment in the Mahama adminstration said while individuals are entitled to their opinions, breaking with the party line publicly, must attract punishment.
‘What he is doing is total disrespect and indiscipline to the rank and file of the party hierarchy. He was voted into Parliament on the ticket of the NDC and he needs to respect party orders’.
‘He must be committed to the party, he must be punished for going against the collective interest of the party’ he said in Twi.
The NDC MP who will not be representing the NDC in the 2020 parliamentary elections said locking out political parties from local government polls is naive and hypocritical because they are neck-deep in the process.
“Certainly, the NDC as a political party has some challenges with aspects of the bill which we have made clear. I respect the party’s position but I completely disagree with the party that we should be advocating for a ‘No’ vote at the referendum.
The government needs at least 40 percent of eligible voters turning out to vote and at least 75 percent voting in favour for its ‘Yes’ 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.