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21.11.2019 Opinion

Why I Will Vote 'No' In December 17 Referendum

By Desmond Twumasi Ntow
Why I Will Vote 'No' In December 17 Referendum

1. Expensive
By amending Article 55(3), it means political parties must reconfigure their structures to include Electoral Area Executives who would open nominations, vet candidates and organize primaries to select candidates before such candidates are presented to the EC for contest. The cost to the individual and the parties would be colossal.

2. Deprive Compromises
Some communities in Ghana have devised amicable ways of rotating Assembly Members among otherwise feuding communities. This arrangement has served them well including ensuring that minority groups also get their share of leadership at the local level.

3. Stifling of Multiparty Democracy
For us the other parties other than the NPP and NDC, we have struggled to even put up winsome candidates in just 275 constituencies largely because we cannot fund them. Now we will be confronted with funding nearly 7000 assembly members. And at least 35,000 unit committee members. Our inability to finance them will despirit our members even further.

4. Mega Corruption
Fact that Assembly members would now go through such laborious and expensive selection process as in paragraph 1 above and coupled with the fact that they are not paid salaries at assembly would lead them to fashion dubious means of recouping investment. The monitisation would have reached alarming proportion.

5. Making legal a wrong
Article 55 excludes parties from participating and sponsoring candidates. This referendum seeks to make a wrong a right. The claim has been that political parties are secretly sponsoring candidates so it should be made right. Why not extend a right to Wee smoking since we know people are smoking? Why not make gay and lesbiens right? Why not grant right to thieves too since we know that people will always steal? Rather, we should report parties and individuals who flout the law for apt sanctions.

Desmond Twumasi Ntow
National Organizer
PNC

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