Referendum not to test NPP's popularity – Bissue

Charles Bissue is a Presidential Staffer and Western Region Secretary of the NPP[/caption] Western Region Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Charles Cromwell Nanabanyin Onuawonto Bissue, who is also a presidential staffer, has described as disingenuous claims that the upcoming referendum is to test the popularity of the Nana Addo administration. According to him, the NPP in its 2016 manifesto made clear its intention to ensure that MMDCEs are elected to make them more accountable. “From the onset, Nana Addo [Dankwa Akufo-Addo] and this government were clear in their minds how they wanted to deepen the decentralization process. The decision to elect MMDCES is stated unambiguously in our manifesto. So, it is not true that we want to have the referendum to test our popularity. That can never be the case,” he defended. In an interview on Connect FM, the Presidential Staffer expressed worry at how some Ghanaians have made it their preoccupation to taint any decision by the “the NPP government to ensure that the country is developed with politics”. “Maybe some political parties will decide to punish the electorate by being self-centered, corrupt and despot. But for the NPP we will never go through the frustrations of getting elected into government and forget the very reasons why we were elected. No, that will never happen. “We will always and only formulate policies that will inure to the benefits of the general masses. One of such is to allow the people to elect who they think can best serve them at the local level.

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‘Yes’ vote The regional secretary insisted a YES vote will ensure that the decentralization concept is made strong. “At the moment the MMDCEs are only accountable to the President. Therefore there is the likelihood for them to do the bidding of their ‘boss’ instead of the people. And this is true because of the fear that if they don’t please the President they will be sacked. “I also believe that once the term of office of the MMDCEs is fixed, it can solve the problem we have where some MMDCEs fight with their MPs.” Mr. Bissue said the constitution gives a lot of powers to the central government. There has been concerns over the years of how so much power is vested in the President, for example. “So Nana Addo being a listening President has taken on board this concern by initiating the devolution process i. e who becomes an MMDCE should be the sole prerogative of the people and not he President Nana Addo.” He noted: “I’ve heard people say so what happens when an elected MMDCE is not from the ruling party. In such an instance that particular assembly may be stifled of funds by the government. My answer is, it will rather be too risky for the government not to release funds. When the MMDCE is elected because that particular MMDCE is probably from the opposition party, the chance presents him the opportunity to work so hard and claim credit for his party to come to power. The ruling government will also ensure that projects are done expeditiously to win the people over. So development projects will keep springing up without any let. And that will be good for the citizenry.” Mr Bisque, therefore, encouraged Ghanaians to vote YES in the upcoming referendum so as to make local assemblies truly independent. The referendum on December 17 proposes the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution to allow political parties sponsor candidates to contest local level elections.
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By Eric Yaw Adjei||Ghana]]>