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NDC MPs challenge President’s authority to cancel referendum

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The Minority National Democratic Congress, (NDC), in Parliament has challenged the authority of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to cause the cancellation of the referendum and the withdrawal of the constitution Amendment Bills before the House.

Member of Parliament, (MP), for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said, it is unfortunate that the President wants the Bill for the amendment of article 243(1) which will see the popular election of MMDCEs also to be withdrawn.

Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa believes the president can still rescind his decision and allow the bill to remain in the house.

He also disputed the claim by President Akufo-Addo that he consulted all the living Former Presidents including John Mahama on the introduction of partisanship in local level elections.

The NDC Minority in Parliament has also called on the President to allow the Electoral Commission to do its work without political interference.

According to them, neither the President nor the former or whoever has the right to control or subject the EC to any directive as to how it should conduct its works when it comes to public election and related matters, referring to article 45 of the 1992 constitution, (Functions of the Electoral Commission).

At an emergency news conference in Parliament to respond to the Presidential directive to rescind the referendum slated for December 17, 2019, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, raised constitutional issues, submitting that, “it’s our contention as a minority that, an amendment to the Constitution is not an ordinary bill, that is why it goes through The Council of State.

If the Council of State says it is good enough to proceed with, what are you now going to do to them”?

He said, what is more important on this referendum is to give Ghanaian citizens the opportunity to decide, “after all the sovereignty resides in them, that is the system we want”.

Mr. Iddrisu described the president’s radio announcement as  unconstitutional and emphasized that, “curtailing the process, he has not done any good to the decentralization of Ghana.

Neither has he done good to participatory democracy in Ghana.”

He added that, “If under article 290 (Amendment of entrenched provitions) was simply majority, they (NPP) would not have consulted the NDC Minority.

Story filed by Edzorna Mensah

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