The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has called for broader stakeholder consultation on the December 17 referendum on whether local level elections should be partisan or not.
He says the exercise cannot be rushed given its crucial nature, hence the need for thorough engagements with all the relevant stakeholders.
Already, there is deep division over the referendum as identifiable groups such as the National House of Chiefs and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are canvassing for 'NO' votes.
The NDC, in particular, has called for a suspension of the exercise to allow for broader consultations.
But speaking at a leadership lecture at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) on the topic ‘Strengthening Democratic Institution for National Development’, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said engagement with chiefs, political parties and other stakeholders will be a step in the right direction.
“Because this is a matter of such momentous importance, I hope, all concerned will step back and take the heat out, so we can see the light in the discourse. How is it possible that the Central Government, representing the modern state, and Nananom, representing the traditional state, could find no space for engagement for consideration of a major reform of the local government and to agree on a common position before such crucial reforms were rolled?”.
“If there had been such engagement, I could not think of how anyone would have ignored the logic in the case for according our chiefs the rightful representation in the new structure. And by the same token, I could not think of how any chief would have seen any incompatibility in the removal of the entrenched clauses in the Constitution to permit the election of the metro and district chief executives or mayors and also allow political parties to sponsor candidates for local elections,” he added.