Prime News Ghana

Referendum: Gov't engaging House of Chiefs to settle disagreement

By Mutala Yakubu
President, Togbe Afede XIV
President, Togbe Afede XIV

Kofi Dzamesi the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, has disclosed that they are engaging the House of Chiefs to settle the disagreement on the December 17 national referendum.

The government will also be represented when the House of Chiefs meets in December.

“…We have started engaging the President and Vice President of the National House of Chiefs and then very soon, on the 12th of December, they will be having the National House of Chiefs meeting in Kumasi and we will be there to engage them before the referendum.”

The December 17 referendum is to decide on a possible amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution to enable political parties to sponsor candidates for local level elections.

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

The outcome will have either of the following outcomes: If the electorate votes YES, the election of MMDCEs, Assembly and Unit Committee Members in the near future will be on a partisan basis.

If they vote NO, then the election of these candidates for the local level elections will be on a non-partisan basis as being practiced now.

The National House of Chiefs called for a NO vote in the referendum.

The House of Chiefs in a statement issued and signed by its President, Togbe Afede XIV, argued that decentralization would negatively be affected by the control of local parties if a YES vote dominates the referendum.

However, the Paramount Chief of the Akyem Abuakwa traditional area, Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II urged Ghanaians to ignore calls for a NO vote.

There had already been indications that traditional leaders were not on the same page after Chairman of the Governance Committee of the House, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II of Sefwi Anhwiaso in the Western Region told Citi News the stance of the National House of Chiefs did not represent the collective view of the chiefs.

READ ALSO: Nat’l House of Chiefs calls on Ghanaians to vote 'No' in December referendum 

The House of Chiefs, however, insists that its stance on the proposed referendum was thoroughly discussed by its Standing Committee and at a general meeting.