The Electoral Commission (EC) has assured members of the public that the suspension of the referendum will not affect the district assembly and unit committee elections scheduled for December 17, this year.

It maintains that the chain of activities contained in its road map for the December 17 polls remains intact and will be followed through as planned.

The Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Operations, Mr Samuel Tettey, told the Daily Graphic in an interview on Monday, December 2, that the commission was on top of its job and would deliver the district level elections (DLEs) as expected.

The December 17 elections was a tripartite one in which Ghanaians were to vote to elect assembly and unit committee members and vote in the referendum.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Sunday night called off the referendum that was supposed to be conducted alongside the DLEs to determine if political parties should be allowed to participate in local level elections.

The referendum sought to amend Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution that barred political parties from participating in elections at the local level.

The President, in a televised address, called off the referendum, citing the lack of deepened consultations and consensus.

He also directed the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment to the Constitution in respect of articles 243 (1) and 55 (3).

Under the 1992 Constitution, Article 243 (1) provides: “There shall be a district chief executive for every district who shall be appointed by the President, with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the assembly present and voting at the meeting.”

An amendment to this article would have taken away the powers of Presidents to appoint MMDCEs.

Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched provision, states: “Subject to the provisions of this article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character and sponsor candidates for election to any public office other than the district assemblies or lower local government units.”

A ‘Yes’ vote on this article would have allowed political parties to sponsor candidates for DLEs.

Mr Tettey also assured the public that the security arrangements for the December 17 polls remained unchanged.

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