Okyenhene endorses 'YES' vote in December 17 referendum

The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin[/caption] The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin has expressed his support for a YES vote in the December 17 referendum which seeks to make room for an amendment of the constitution to make local government elections partisan. This endorsement comes days after the Okyenhene and some other members of the National House of Chiefs opposed the decision by president of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV who called for a NO vote in the upcoming referendum. A statement from the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council on behalf of the Okyenhene stated that making local government election partisan will limit the executive powers of the president and open things up for citizen participation in governance. The president of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs also argued political party participation in local governance is practiced all over the world, and that Ghana cannot be exempted from practicing such. According to the Okyenhene, most Metropolitan and Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) are appointed by the president currently, and that most of the persons appointed are affiliated to one party or the other. “Most MMDCEs are rejected partisan politicians at the polls (defeated parliamentary candidates) who later by intrigues and back door tactics of central government impose themselves on the people,” the statement dated November 18 said. This mode of appointment he said is unacceptable and incompatible with the objectives of an inclusive governance system. The Okyenhene further said there is the need for legal and administrative reforms in ensuring the financial independence of local governments. He commended government for the move to amend the constitution, stating it is “a positive step in the uphill task of total decentralization.” Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has expressed readiness for the December 17 referendum aimed at amending Article 55(3)  of the constitution to make local government elections.

READ ALSO:  Maintain constitutional lines in creation of new regions - Togbe Afede
Read:EC on track to run referendum – Deputy Chair Source: 3news.com|Ghana]]>