Prime News Ghana

Peace Council calls for further consultations for Dec. 17 Referendum

By Wendy Amarteifio
Peace Council chairman, Rev Emmanuel Asante
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The National Peace Council is calling for further dialogue and consultations on the upcoming referendum slated for December 17.

According to the Peace Council, the consultations are necessary to end what it says is the confusion and misinformation about the exercise.

There has been an increase in the campaigns for the expected outcomes of the referendum which seeks to amend Article 55 (3)  of the constitution to allow political parties to participate in local government elections.

Currently, the law, in Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, says District Chief Executives for every Metropolitan, Municipal and District are to be appointed by the President with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the assembly present and voting at the meeting.

However, the governing NPP and opposition NDC are involved in an argument over the opposition's campaign for a 'No' vote whilst the national house of chiefs is divided over what position to take.

The NPP says it is shocked at the NDC's sudden U-turn to campaign against the amendment of Article 55 (3) of the constitution.

Also, on the part of the National House of Chiefs, the President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV has declared a 'No' vote for the December 17 Referendum.

But the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II who is also the President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs has endorsed a 'Yes' Vote indicating that political party participation in local government politics is practised all over the world and that Ghana cannot remain an exception.

Speaking to Starr FM today, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the Council, Reverend Andrew Dunyo said it is necessary for more efforts to be channelled in addressing the misinformation about the of the exercise

''When it comes to communication or disseminating of information there should always be a dialogue if someone has a dissenting views from yours that doesn't mean that you should fight the person. We need to sit down, we need to talk, dialouge and find a way out of the situation. We need to educate people to know what the whole process is about. If people are misinformed it creates a problem. Its never too late, we need to intensify the education process so that people can be well informed and go out there to inform others''.

Rev Dunyo also urged journalists to educate the public in relation to the referendum adding that people stand to make good choices when they are well informed about the referendum.

Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak is backing the ‘YES’ campaign in the December 17, Referendum, contrary to direct orders of the party.

He said the arguments against the amendment of Article 55/3 of the Constitution are weak and unacceptable.

READ ALSO: We will only vote 'Yes' if other amendments are made - Mahama backs NDC's position on referendum

Meanwhile, a  survey by the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) has indicated that 67% of Ghanaians are aware of the December 17 Referendum.

READ ALSO: Nat’l House of Chiefs divided over 'NO' referendum statement