The Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe wants the December 17 referendum halted for broader consultations.
There is a divided opinion on the referendum with the two major political parties sharing divergent views – the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) arguing that government has not held even a single engagement with them on the upcoming exercise.
Traditional leaders are also not on the same page after Chairman of the Governance Committee of the National House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II disclosed that the stance of the House for a 'NO' vote did not represent the collective view of the chiefs.
But, speaking to journalists, the Minister said it will only be prudent if the referendum is totally withdrawn given what he terms as “ridiculous arguments” about the exercise.
“People are saying we should postpone it. But I am asking why it should be postponed? We should withdraw and forget about it. The whole issue is about a president who wants to deepen multi-party democracy at the district assembly level. It is happening in other countries so the ridiculous argument of dividing the country further doesn't make sense. We are deepening the principle of multi-party democracy at the district assembly level and they say that will divide the country because there is a division at the top. People put out such baseless statements; gain currency and I am amazed.”
The House of Chiefs had insisted that its stance on the proposed referendum was thoroughly discussed by its Standing Committee and at a general meeting.
The NDC has strongly urged Ghanaians to vote against the proposed amendment of Article 55 (3), which seeks to allow political participation in local assembly elections.