Referendum: A No! Vote is a Big Win for Rural Development.
The 1992 Constitution has lots of flaws which makes it imperative for a wholistic review of the entire National document. This has been the prayer of many prominent Ghanaians and some organizations. The Ghana Leadership Union (GLU) has for more than six months now, presented a complete review recommendation of the constitution to Parliament for consideration. However, Parliament has since not even had the curtesy to acknowledge receipt for submitting that stupid memo if that is how they look at it.
Ironically, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government which boycotted the whole constitutional assembly in 1990 under the Rawlings military Government, finds it necessary to hold a referendum on just one, article 290 which is an entrenched provision. That provision prohibits political parties from sponsoring candidates for elections at the district and local council elections.
Instead of the NPP Government initiating a total and comprehensive review to make it relevant to the National aspirations and needs, and reduce the overall Executive influence, in the constitution, they rather want to add more Political influence at the local level where there is the need for local participation and engagements on their economic and social developments.
Many organizations and individuals have spoken against the NPP’s attempt to influence political parties sponsoring candidates at the local level election. The Ghana Leadership Union (GLU) wishes to clearly state that the recommendations submitted to the office of parliament towards the comprehensive reforms, emphasized on the need to allow the people to form local councils and elect their representatives without Political party influence and be given powers to plan for their own development. We therefore think the referendum is needless.
Those at the villages must be advised that it is in their own best interest to vote No!! on 17th December in order to save them from unnecessary Political interference in the administration of their local councils. If the local council concept is well organized, each town must eventually become autonomous under their own town councils and responsible for collecting revenues to manage their own towns without political interference from central Government. The NDC and NPP have for many years controlled and misguided their supporters against the other for their parochial interest.
The whole idea to organize a national referendum seeking to overturn the spirit and letter of that entrenched provision, is misguided and politically motivated by both sides of the political divide. It is never in the best interest of the development of rural Ghana. The people of Ghana must vote an overwhelming NO!! to stop their quest to corrupt the voting system at the local levels.
By Samuel Ofori Ampofo || Local President, GLU