Prime News Ghana

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

By Mutala Yakubu
Hajia Alima Mahama the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development
Hajia Alima Mahama the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development

Hajia Alima Mahama the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development has brushed off claims that the withdrawal of the December 17 referendum has caused financial loss to the state.

President Akufo-Addo halted the upcoming referendum which was to decide on an amendment of Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to enable political parties to participate in local level elections.

He said there was no “durable national consensus” on the matter and cancelled the referendum.

READ ALSO: Tell Ghanaians how much was spent on 'abortive' referendum since you have already printed ballot papers - Ablakwa to gov't

Despite the money spent sensitization and public education, Hajia Alima Mahama says that has not had any negative effect on the country's finances.

“I don’t see any financial loss to the state. The processes have gone together. The EC usually mounts a platform. Whether the referendum was there or not, the platforms would have been mounted for people to get people to present their manifestoes or policy initiatives on their elections so that would have continued anyway. So I don’t see anything like financial loss to the state,” She told Citi News.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa the Member of Parliament for North Tongu earlier called on the government to disclose how much money has been expended on the now cancelled December 17 referendum.

He raised questions over the cost of the process in a Facebook post on Sunday after the announcement.

“As transparency and accountability demands: can Government now disclose how much it has spent on this abortive referendum thus far; and steps being taken to prevent any more financial loss to the state, especially as we are aware printing of ballot papers and other ancillary expenditures had long commenced.”

As part of his announcement, the President also directed the Local Government and Rural Development Minister to withdraw the Bills seeking to amend Articles 55 (3) and 243 (1).

READ ALSO: Referendum: It's only a fool who doesn't change his mind - NPP tells NDC (Video)

Parliament later approved the withdrawal of the two bills on Monday.