Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission
Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

The Managers of private radio stations in the Sunyani Municipality have expressed disappointment in the Electoral Commission (EC) over an advertisement placement about the upcoming District Level Elections (DLEs) and the Referendum.

The Referendum set to amend Article 55 (3) of the 1992 constitution and the DLEs is scheduled for Tuesday, December 17 this year.

According to the aggrieved Managers, only ‘Nimdee’ FM, a Sunyani-based local radio station is publicising that important national exercise in the Municipality.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the Managers said many of the stations were asked to prepare and submit invoices, but were denied the opportunity to play the advert on their stations.

GNA investigations revealed that ‘Nimdee’ FM was engaged by the EC to play the advert till December 15.

The situation is however, not different in the Bono East and Ahafo Regions, as checks by the GNA showed that none of the local FM stations in the two regions were currently playing the advert on their networks.

They spoke to the GNA on condition of anonymity that the publicity on the DLEs and the referendum was low hence the need for the EC to engage many of the local FM stations to air the advert on their channels.

“Every radio station has target audience so in such a national exercise we expect that the advert would be shared among most of the stations to play so as to reach a larger mirage”, one of the Managers explained.

Efforts by the GNA to contact the Regional Office of the EC to react to the claims by the Managers were unsuccessful.
The Referendum is in fulfillment of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitutional requirement for the electorate to approve or reject a question of Article 55(3) amendment to introduce multi-partisan system into local level elections.

According to the Commission, the referendum is not an election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

Article 55(3), which is an entrenched clause 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 District Level Elections.

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