NPP rallies support for upcoming referendum Featured

As the December referendum on political parties’ participation in the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) fast approaches, the general secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, John Boadu, has charged all party executives to actively participate in the campaign for an overwhelming "YES Vote" in the upcoming exercise.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has settled on December 17 for the referendum, which will allow political parties to sponsor candidates for election as MMDCEs.

The NPP general secretary, who has been embarking on a nationwide tour, has urged the executives of his party across all levels, as well as all Ghanaians, to see the referendum as a very crucial political exercise not only for the NPP but also for the country. He therefore expects them to approach it with all the seriousness it deserves.

The YES verdict

Speaking to party executives at an orientation workshop for all constituency executives in the Western North Region yesterday, Mr Boadu reminded them of the importance of the referendum and why it must return a ‘YES’ verdict.

“The success of this referendum would mean a fulfillment of one of our key manifesto promises and, more importantly, something that would strengthen local governance to advance the cause of national development and prosperity,” he said.

He bemoaned the apparent lack of enthusiasm shown towards the exercise, and explained that for the referendum to pass, the huge constitutional threshold of at least 40 per cent turn out and 75 per cent "Yes Vote" must be met.

According to the NPP chief scribe, in view of the steps being taken by government, by the date of the referendum, Parliament would have finished amending Article 243(1) to take away the President's power of appointing MMDCEs.

He explained further that the referendum is only meant to decide whether or not political parties should be allowed to sponsor candidates to contest for elections as assembly members or MMDCEs.

He added that it is not about whether or not the appointment of MMDCEs should be done by the President.

Training workshop

The NPP is holding training and orientation workshops for all the 17 constituency executives of the party in all the constituencies across the country, to adequately prepare them for Election 2020.

The party is also educating the executives on why they should get involved in the campaign for a "YES Vote" in the upcoming referendum.

This exercise has already been held for all constituency executives in the Ahafo, Greater Accra and Western regions. The other regions will soon have their turn in the coming days and weeks.

Charge to MMDECs

The election of MMDCEs on partisan lines was a major campaign promise of the NPP in the run-up to the 2016 election.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, earlier this month, during a training workshop for the MMDCEs in Kumasi, appealed to them to take the upcoming referendum seriously.

“I’m appealing to you. Let us take this referendum seriously. Speaking on a purely partisan level, it’s going to look very bad if the manifesto commitment by the NPP administration, with a year of going to the polls, we cannot deliver on it.
“We have to deliver on it, otherwise our credibility will be very much at stake in 2020, and since everyone’s position hinges on the victory of the NPP, we should be careful about jeopardizing the chances of the NPP in the elections ahead of us,” he told the MMDCEs.

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