The Municipal Chief Executive for Berekum East has taken education on the “YES” vote on the December 17 referendum to churches within the Berekum Municipality
The campaign took the MCE and officials of the Berekum Municipal Assembly including the Municipal Information Officer to five churches over the weekend.
The churches included, The Estate and Nyame Bekyere Seventh Day Adventist Churches, Resurrection Presbyterian Church, Emmanuel Methodist Church all in Kato as well as Green Gate Church of Pentecost.
Explaining the brain behind the referendum at the various churches, the MCE for Berekum East, Mr. Kofi Adjei said political parties’ participation in local level elections was necessary to ensure total democratization of all the levels of governance in national life.
He stated that countries that have advanced in a democracy are practicing what the government was advocating for and hence the need for Ghanaians to vote 'YES' to ensure the amendment of Article 55 (3) to allow for political parties participating at the local level elections.
He observed that the current situation where political parties covertly sponsor and the overt display of party politics at the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies was not the best for democracy and hence the need for a massive 'YES' vote to effect the necessary constitutional amendment.
On his part, the Municipal Information Officer for Berekum East, Mr. Baffour-Mensah explained that there are two constitutional amendments that the government has tabled before Ghanaians.
This according to him were the amendment of Article 243(1), an enshrined clause which deals with the power of the President to appoint Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to be considered for amendment by Parliament and Article 55 (3) which prohibits political parties from participating in local level elections and which was the subject matter of the referendum.
He further stated that before Article 55(3) could be amended, forty percent of all registered voter needed to vote with seventy-five percent voting 'YES.'
Mr. Baffour-Mensah explained that the combined effect of amending Articles 243(1) and 55(3) will be political parties’ participation in local level elections including sponsoring candidates for Unit Committee, Assembly Members and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly elections.
Touching on the advantages of the proposed system, the Municipal Information Officer stated that it will ensure competition between political parties at the local level to bring out the best in people aspiring to serve, ensuring accountability to the people from their elected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and dealing with the “winner” takes all syndrome which according to him sometimes induce political violence during elections.
He concluded that opening the political space for political parties’ participation in local level elections will not prevent individuals without political parties affiliation to contest as independent candidates.
He, therefore, called for a massive 'YES' vote on December 17, 2019.
Educating the various congregants at the churches, the Municipal Information Officer for Berekum East said over the years Ghanaians have raised concerns about whether to allow for political parties participation in local level elections and the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.