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09.11.2019 General News

Correction Of Misinformation On The Facts

...OF The Upcoming 2019 National Referendum
Correction Of Misinformation On The Facts
NOV 9, 2019 GENERAL NEWS

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) says it has noted with concern misinformation in some media reportage(s) misinforming the public on the upcoming 17th December 2019 National Referendum.

According to a statement signed by the Director, Communication and Corporate Affairs, Joyce Afutu, the upcoming elections is not to elect Metropolitan

Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) as disseminated earlier.

The statement said "The Commission wishes to clarify that the 2019 National Referendum is to enable citizens to vote on the proposed amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution that currently bars political parties from participating in District Level Elections (DLEs).

She also added that the proposed amendment is to introduce multi-party participation in the Local Government System in Ghana.

Below is a copy of the full release:

For Immediate Release

CORRECTION OF MISINFORMATION ON THE FACTS OF THE UPCOMING 2019 NATIONAL REFERENDUM

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has noted with concern misinformation in the media that the 17th December, 2019 National Referendum is to elect Metropolitan Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs). The Commission wishes to clarify that the 2019 National Referendum is to enable citizens to vote on the proposed amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution that currently bars political parties from participating in District Level Elections (DLEs). The proposed amendment is to introduce multi-party participation in the Local Government System in Ghana.

Article 55 (3) states that: “…Subject to the provisions of this Article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character, and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than to District Assemblies or lower local government units”. This is an entrenched provision which can only be amended through a Referendum which

per Article 290(4) can be approved when at least 40% of persons entitled to vote, vote at the referendum and at least 75% of the persons who vote cast their votes in favour of passing the bill.

As issued by Electoral Commission (EC), the Referendum question will appear on the ballot paper as: Are you in favour of the Bill to amend Clause 3 of Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution to allow Political Parties to sponsor Candidates for election to District Assemblies or Lower Local Government Units”? The electorate may vote YES (colour coded Yellow) or NO (colour coded Dark Brown).

The amendment of Article 243 (1), a non-entrenched provision does not require a referendum. It states that: "...There shall be a District Chief Executive for every district who shall 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...” Parliament is currently in the process of amending this article to enable eligible citizens to elect their MMDCEs.

A successful amendment of Article 55 (3) implies that, political parties would be able to sponsor candidates for election to District Assemblies or Lower Local Government Units. The outcome of the National Referendum will have either of the following outcomes: If the electorate votes

YES, election of MMDCEs, Assembly and Unit Committee Members in the near future will be on partisan basis. If they vote NO, then the election of these candidates for the local level elections will be on non-partisan basis as being practiced now.

The erroneous information may cause confusion on the day of election, when citizens do not see a question that relates to the election of MMDCEs. NCCE, therefore, urges the media to take note of this important clarification and educate the general public correctly. The Commission reiterates that the Referendum for the proposed amendment of Article 55(3) is to either vote YES, to allow political party participation in Local Governance or NO, not to allow political party participation in Local Governance.

Signed,

Joyce Afutu (Mrs.)

(Director, Communication and Corporate Affairs)

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