Discontent and anger has greeted President Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to withdraw the amendment of Article 243/1 from Parliament.
The amendment, had it been completed, would allow Ghanaians to elect their own Metropolitan, Municipal, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
However, in a live Television address to the nation, President Akufo-Addo announced a withdrawal of the bill together with another amendment that could have introduced partisan politics at the Assemblies had it been approved in a referendum.
I don’t want to believe that folks could incognizant to the extent that,they thought they will vote no to partisan local govt elections and still get to vote for MMDCEs? Then again folks did believe that 147m got burnt,so what do I know?
— PDS Is Problematic (@PearlRosalyn) December 2, 2019
The President cited lack of consensus for the Referendum question, on the political party participation in local government, for the withdrawals.
How are the two amendments related?
Article 243/1 empowers the President to appoint the MMDCEs. Its amendment is supposed to take place in Parliament by two-thirds members of the House as it is not an entrenched clause.
As the MMDCEs fall under the Assemblies, their election would be non-partisan due to the barrier Article 55/3 places on political party participation at that level.
To make the election of MMDCEs partisan, the government then proceeded to ask Ghanaians to vote in a referendum to repeal Article 55/3.
This is what happens when government tries to push an agenda without broad consultations. We could easily separate that of MMDCEs and assembly but here we dey.
— Crown Prince (@Twinsena) December 1, 2019
But the opposition NDC who had earlier cooperated with the government, declared it would not support the introduction of partisan politics to the Assemblies.
National Chairman of the party, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo said at a press conference in Accra that the party would actively campaign for ‘NO’ in the referendum.
But why pull back the amendment of Article 243 1 which sought to allow Ghanaians elect their MMDCEs?
Are the amendments conjoined?
Surely our MPs could have voted on that with consensus.
Legal education needed.
— Cold Room Watcher (@francis_abban) December 1, 2019
Heeding the calls, President Akufo-Addo withdrew the referendum bill but also withdrew the bill on election of MMDCDEs, sparking anger on social media.
“Looks suspiciously like petulance by government.”If you won’t vote yes then we won’t vote for MMDCEs at all” a Twitter user wrote
“Politicians don’t want democracy so it’s either their way or no other way
Why are they withdrawing the voting of MMDCES? They are a bunch of hypocrites and we the citizens must come together and fight this kind of lies and deceit,” Austine, another user wrote.
President Akufo Addo has also acted in bad faith like the NDC(No vote)
He promised us he will let us elect our MMDCES and there was no caveat so why is he reneging on that promise
Politicians are never to be trusted
— Austine Woode (@obiMpenaAustine) December 1, 2019
Politicians don”™t want democracy so it”™s either their way or no other way
Why are they withdrawing the voting of MMDCES? They are a bunch of hypocrites and we the citizens must come together and fight this kind of lies and deceit
— Austine Woode (@obiMpenaAustine) December 1, 2019
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