Prime News Ghana

December 17 referendum officially cancelled by EC

By Mutala Yakubu
EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa
EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa

The Electoral Commission (EC) has officially cancelled the December 17, 2019 referendum.

The referendum was to amend Article 55 clause 3 of the 1992 Constitution.

The amendment was aimed at paving way for Ghanaians to elect their local officials namely MMDCEs.

President Akufo-Addo recently called for the referendum to be cancelled, citing lack of a broad national consensus.

READ ALSO: Prez. Akufo-Addo calls off December 17, referendum

The President who addressed the nation on December 1, 2019, said a broader consultation will have to be done before the process goes ahead.

"The main opposition party the NDC stated they were no longer prepared to go along with the national consensus. They indicated further they will actively campaign for a 'No' vote. In as much as I still believe that there is enough support in the country for a 'Yes' vote to be successful on December 17, I do not believe that this is a proper atmosphere for such a history to be made in our country. Even though I am unrepentant in my belief that party politics is good for our country because it enhances accountability I think matters of such significance needs a broad national consensus. So it is with deep regret that I have given instructions to the Minister for Local government and Rural development to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the bill"

The EC in a statement signed by its Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said its decision follows notification from the Speaker of Parliament on the withdrawal of two bills namely: (I) Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2018 which sought to amend Article 55 (3) and Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2019 which sought to amend Article 243 (1) of the Constitution.

READ ALSO: Referendum halt hasn't caused financial loss to Ghana - Hajia Alima Mahama

The withdrawal of the bills was done by the Attorney General on the authority of the President and by leave of the House, the EC noted.