Referendum: Manasseh joins ‘No’ campaigners
Investigative Journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni has waded into the on-going debate in the upcoming December 17 referendum and says he will vote “No”.
The December 17, referendum seeks to amend constitutional provisions—articles 55(3) and 243 to introduce partisan politics into local government elections.
Two weeks to the voting day, a lot of debate has risen as to whether to vote “Yes” and allow political parties to sponsor candidates for district level elections or “No” to give ordinary citizens the chance to put themselves up for elections without any influence from political parties.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which initially endorsed the ‘Yes’ Campaign made a U-turn on November 18, 2019 and asked its members to Vote ‘No’
A section of the National House of Chiefs also joined the ‘No’ Campaign– the side the respected investigative journalist is making a case for.
According to Azure, the centralised system where contracts are given and terminated at the district level from Accra has to cease.
Ranting on his social media page, the investigative journalist wrote, “You sit in Accra and award contracts for the sweeping of the Bongo market on behalf of the Bongo District Assembly and pay from Accra when the work is not done.
“This is the problem you have to resolve if you truly want to strengthen local governance. Introducing nasty NDC and NPP fights at the assembly level will not resolve this.”I WILL VOTE NO!”
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.