Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper says although he supports a YES vote in the upcoming December 17 referendum he wishes the referendum will be deferred.

Abdul Malik Kweku Baako told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Newsfile Saturday that until recently he was for a NO vote.

This he says was due to his fears in relation to the position of chairperson, the Security and Intelligence Act gave to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) over subsidiary bodies like the District Security Council (DISEC).

 The veteran journalist said such an arrangement may lead to problems for the country.

 “Until recently, I was for NO. And I was for NO because I was looking at the Security and Intelligence Act in terms of our architecture. And I was worried that if we were to elect the MMDCEs and DCEs, and they were chairpersons of those subsidiaries, District Security Council DISEC and things, it could create some problems.”

The 2019 National Referendum is to enable citizens to vote on the proposed amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution that currently bars political parties from participating in District Level Elections (DLEs).

The proposed amendment is to introduce multi-party participation in the Local Government system in the country. 

This provision as entrenched in the constitution can only be amended if 40% of persons eligible to vote show up and 75% of the voters vote YES in favour of the amendment.

A successful amendment of Article 55(3) will make room for political parties to sponsor candidates for District Assemblies of Lower Local Government units.

There have been a massive campaign by proponent and opponent of the subject.

Mr Baako said his viewpoint was changed after some Members of Parliament drew his attention to certain consequential amendments that would follow the referendum.

“Until some members of parliament called my attention to the fact that there are consequential amendments which would capture the Security and Intelligence Act and those paragraphs or portions will be subject to amendment.”

Per these amendments, MMDCEs, when elected, will not be chairpersons to these subsidiary bodies like the DISEC, but members of these committees.

“So those arguments came in and I realized I hadn’t done a deeper thinking on the issue. So I decided that well, if those amendments should be done, in any case, those people will still be members of the security committees”, he said.

Kweku Baako says though he wishes the process be deferred in order to allow proper structures to be put in place to ease the electoral process and its aftermath, so much resource have been invested into the process already, and deferring it may cause the nation great losses.