The group says the cancellation of the election – originally scheduled to have been held on March 3 – and the cumulatively low turnouts for district level elections in the country mean enough must be done to ensure massive participation from the citizenry.
The group made this known in a statement released on Tuesday, June 23 and signed by its Acting Executive Director, Vladimir Antwi Danso.
Find the statement below:
DECLARE SEPTEMBER 1ST A PUBLIC HOLIDAY
For Immediate Release
The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) has noted with contentment the successful maturation of the CI 89, and commends Parliament for doing due diligence in passing the CI. The CLGA also commends the Electoral Commission for coming out with modalities for the now September 1st 2015 District Assembly and Units Committee Elections. The Centre also commends the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for holding the fort.
The CLGA is rigorously reiterating its earlier call on government to declare the day a holiday, thus expects September 1st 2015, the day for the local government elections, to be declared a public holiday. It is the position of the CLGA that in order to give the true meaning to Article 35(6d) of the 1992 constitution, which states that ‘the state shall take appropriate measures to make democracy a reality by … affording all possible opportunities to the people to participate in decision – making at every level of national life and in government’ efforts must be made to promote voter participation in all local level elections. By this, popular participation in decision making and participatory democracy will be enhanced.
Also, the dwindling voter turnout in previous local government elections, coupled with the failed March 3rd attempt at conducting the elections, call for pragmatic steps not just to ensure that the election is held but to ensure that there is increased participation in the September 1st elections. To achieve this, the CLGA is of the firm belief that declaring September 1st as a public holiday is a sure way of achieving grand participation.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the National Commission for Civic Education, Civil Society Organizations and relevant stakeholders are encouraged to step up efforts to boost awareness and participation.
The Ministry for Local Government and Rural Development must come out with a clear date to swear in or inaugurate the assemblies after the September 1st elections.
The Electoral Commission, in delivering on its mandate, is strongly advised to quality assure its decisions to avert any unnecessary setbacks.
The CLGA is calling on all well meaning Ghanaians of voting age to partake in the district level elections.