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03.12.2019 General News

Parliament suspends sitting reportedly over cancelled referendum

By CitiNewsRoom
Parliament suspends sitting reportedly over cancelled referendum
LISTEN DEC 3, 2019

Parliament has suspended Monday’s emergency sitting over the decision of President Akufo-Addo to cancel the December 17 referendum.

The House intends to reconvene at 2 pm to deliberate further on the matter.

A circular sent around said the postponement is due to an emergency meeting being held by the leadership of the House, but reports suggest that the meeting is over the cancellation of the referendum.

Meanwhile, the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has asked the government to disclose how much money has been expended on the now cancelled December 17 Referendum.

The referendum was to decide on an amendment of Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to enable political parties to participate in local level elections.

But President Nana Akufo-Addo, in a national address on Sunday evening, said there was no “durable national consensus” on the matter following consultations.

“In these circumstances, I am convinced that it will not serve the public interest to go ahead with the holding of the public referendum on 17th December even though I believe a strong campaign for a YES vote would have succeeded. This is not the kind of atmosphere in which the repeal of an entrenched provision of the Constitution should take place.”

Now, Mr. Ablakwa, who viewed the cancellation as a victory, is raising questions over the cost of the process in a Facebook post.

“As transparency and accountability demands: can Government now disclose how much it has spent on this abortive referendum thus far; and steps being taken to prevent any more financial loss to the state, especially as we are aware printing of ballot papers and other ancillary expenditures had long commenced.”