The Head of Local Government Service, Dr. Nana Ato Arthur has described as confusion the seeming division within the National House of Chiefs over the national referendum.
The Referendum which seeks to amend Article 55 (3) to enable political parties to sponsor candidates for election to District Assemblies or Lower Local Government Units has been greeted with mixed reactions from a number of interest groups.
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.
A press statement released on Friday, on the letterhead of the House of Chiefs and under the signatures of the President, Togbe Afede XIV and Vice President Daasebre Nana Kwebu Ewusi VII said the House was against the government’s position on the December 17 referendum.
According to the statement, the House of Chiefs is concerned about the adverse effects of partisan politics on local level development if this referendum goes through.
Less than a day after the release, the Chairman of the Governance Committee of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II of Sefwi Anhwiaso in the Western Region says the Statement does not represent the collective view of the House of Chiefs.
Speaking on the Monday edition of Anopa Nkomo with Kwame Tutu on Accra based Kingdom FM 107.7, Dr. Nana Ato Arthur called for concerted efforts and intensified the campaign to achieve a convincing ‘YES’ vote in the upcoming referendum on December 17, 2019.
He debunked the claim that electing MMDCEs will divide the country thereby create a chaotic system and corruption at assemblies but rather strengthen local governance and hasten growth and development.
“It is to strengthen grassroots democracy and good governance, New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress members are part of assemblies and form parliament I don’t think it is going to divide the nation, referendum is to pave the way for the election of MMDCEs and also allow for political participation at local level elections,” Dr. Nana Ato Arthur posited.