Let’s make informed decisions in referendum-Methodist Bishop

Referendum Voting

Ghanaians have been urged to do critical analysis of, and make informed decisions in the Referendum set to determine the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the country.

The Electoral Commission (EC) will be organising the District Level Elections (DLEs) and Referendum to amend article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution.

Barring any hitch, the elections shall start 0700 hours to 1700 hours on Tuesday December 17.

The Referendum is in fulfilment of the Constitutional requirement for the electorate to approve or reject as to whether Article 55(3) should be amended to introduce multi-partisan system into local elections.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), on the sidelines of an induction service held in Wenchi in the Bono Region, the Most Reverend Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, advised all eligible Ghanaians to participate in the elections.

The Referendum, Most Rev. Dr Boafo explained was a momentous exercise, and it would not be easy to reverse any decision Ghanaians might take, hence the need for the electorate to understand the concept and all processes properly in order not to take any decision and regret later.This means public education and sensitisation must be intensified, he said.

Mots Rev Dr Boafo emphasised that the DLEs and the Referendum were important to deepen and consolidate the nation’s democracy and advised Ghanaians to find time to participate in the supreme interest of the nation.

The Methodist church inducted Right Reverend Alfred Appiah Andam as the Bishop of the Wenchi Diocese after serving as the Wenchi circuit as Superintendent Minister from 2013-2019.

He affirmed the readiness and determination of the Methodist Church Ghana to support policies and programmes of the government that sought to improve on the socio-economic livelihoods of the people.

Presently, the constitution prohibits political parties from sponsoring a candidate, the use of existing political party symbols, and canvassing for votes on the platform of a political party on DLEs.

The constitution stipulates that 40 per cent of registered and qualified voters’ turnout to vote, 75 per cent of the votes cast be in favour of the referendum question.

Apart from Article 55(3), a few other Articles are eligible for amendment but the most important one for the moment, the GNA learnt was Article 243(1) which gives the mandate to a sitting President to appoint the MMDCEs.

Because Article 243(1) is not an entrenched clause in the constitution, it would be amended by Parliament to allow the election of the MMDCEs on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage.

This means that both Articles of the constitution, when amended would allow candidates standing for DLEs to be sponsored by political parties.

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