"The time had come to strip the process of its hypocrisy" - Nana Akufo Addo on Referendum Call off
“I do not believe that such an amendment should be driven as a party matter" - Nana Addo
President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo has called off the December 17, Referendum saying that “the time had come to strip the process of its hypocrisy, and accept and work with the reality of party involvement.”
Nana Akufo-Addo addressing the Nation on Sunday, December 1, 2019 indicated that the attainment of a broad consensus on the matter as important as the amendment of an entrenched provision of the constitution is critical.
“I do not believe that such an amendment should be driven as a party matter. There has to be a clear national consensus and agreement amongst the populace that a particular entrenched provision no longer serves the interest of the people, and, thus, has to be removed,” he said.
“In this case, it had been long apparent that political parties were, in fact, actively involved in district assembly elections, despite their apparently non-partisan nature,” he added.
According to the President, he thus instructed the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama who is spearheading the process on behalf of government to abort it and see to it that the bills for the amendment of the constitution, both in respect of article 243(1) and article 55(3). He explained that, he wanted to enhance accountability through the amendment to the country’s governance system to effect the country’s governance system after a frim conviction of his three years as the president of Ghana.
The President in furtherance of the matter on Tuesday April, 18, 2017held a meeting with three of his predecessors with his three predecessors, their Excellencies Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, and John Dramani Mahama, at Jubilee House, to seek their views and counsel on these issues.
“I came away from that meeting with the view that there was consensus amongst us that the time had come for political parties to participate openly in district assembly elections and local governance,” he said.
He expressed disappointment with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) change of mind stating that the referendum was no longer prepared to go along with the national consensus.
“They indicated further that they will actively campaign for a ‘No’ vote. In as much as I still believe that there is enough support in the country for a ‘Yes’ vote to be successful on 17th December, I do not believe that this is the proper atmosphere in which an issue of such nature, i.e. the repeal of an entrenched provision of the Constitution, should be addressed in our country,” he said.
Despite having an unrepentant belief in party politics being good for the country, President Akufo-Addo stated that “I also think that, on matters of such constitutional significance, there should be a broad, national consensus behind the repeal of an entrenched provision of the Constitution”.
The President assured that his Government will continue to work for a broad, national consensus on the issue, adding that “should such a consensus be attained for the repeal of article 55(3) of the Constitution, and an agreement reached for political parties to participate in and sponsor candidates for election to district assemblies, at any point during my tenure of office as President of the Republic, the matter will be brought again back to the front burner of our public discourse for the necessary action”.