General Mosquito flip-flops after okaying Yes to December 17 referendum at IPAC meeting Featured

By By Nana Yaw Dwamena November 26, 2019 1265 102 comments

It is becoming clear that the position taken by the general secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress, John Asiedu Nketiah, and his party on the local government referendum is an “afterthought” and a possible plot to sabotage the move to amend Article 55 (3) of the 1992 constitution to introduce partisan politics at the local level.

At a press conference a fortnight ago, the NDC officially announced it was adopting a position against the Yes vote in the December 17 referendum on how Ghanaians are to select their local government representatives.

According to the main opposition party, its position is not particularly against election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs). Rather, the party says, it wants the government to recant on its intention to make all elections at local level partisan.

IPAC minutes

But this NDC position is at variance with the position the party’s own general secretary articulated at a meeting of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) on October 23 2019.

Minutes of the meeting, sent to the various parties yesterday and sighted by the Daily Statesman, vividly capture Mr Asiedu Nketiah expressing the NDC’s full support for a Yes vote, as well as the party’s readiness to go all out to campaign for full endorsement of local-level partisan politics.

According to the IPAC minutes, “Mr Asiedu Nketiah stated that the NDC was also campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum and that he did not see how a political party whose leadership is introducing something will have the party campaign ‘No’.”

The minutes add: “He further noted that he believed all parties would campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote as was the case of a referendum for the creation of new regions.”

Mr Asiedu Nketiah is also reported to have “originally proposed that the referendum ballot be cast last on Election Day because of the possible absence of agents as well as issues of eligibility of the voter at the polling stations”.

Also present at the meeting was O B Amoah, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, who represented the New Patriotic Party.

According to the minutes, “He stated that the NPP was going to campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote and would therefore work towards having agents across the country.”


Meanwhile, the NPP has described the NDC’s sudden change of mind as an “unpatriotic betrayal of the Ghanaian people” as well as “a breach of faith”.

The party noted that even though all the political parties – including the NDC – as well as civil society organisations, faith-based groups and other leading stakeholders had reached a consensus on next month’s referendum, the opposition party “has shockingly come out to oppose the ‘Yes’ vote agenda”.

The NPP’s general secretary, John Boadu, observed at a press conference: “Until the announcement last Tuesday, November 12 2019, the NDC had all this while been co-operating constructively with the government, in Parliament and elsewhere, with the NPP, the Electoral Commission, other political parties, faith-based organisations, traditional authorities, civil society organisations and all other stakeholders for the success of the referendum in returning an emphatic Yes verdict.

“That is why all the political parties, civil society groups, the media and the general public appear surprised, confused and even hoodwinked by the NDC’s abrupt U-turn,” Mr Boadu said.

He added: “Such a naked show of dishonesty, deceit, indecision, lack of candour and integrity from the biggest opposition party in the country projects a perception that the NDC would sacrifice the national interest on the altar where cheap political points are scored.”

President will rule

Meanwhile, Deputy Information Minister Pius Hadzide says President Akufo-Addo is expected to take a final decision in the coming days on whether the December 17 referendum will take place as planned.

Mr Hadzide said that before the President travelled outside the country he commissioned another round of consultations on the process, and that he will make a decision on the matter after he receives a report on the deliberations.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 06:53


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