The forthcoming district-level election and referendum for the amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution is to further deepen the democratic dispensation in the country and to ensure full participation of the people, the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, has said.

By a massive “yes” vote, he said, partisan involvement would be accepted during district assembly elections.

The referendum will be held alongside the district-level election scheduled for December 17 this year.

Campaign

Launching the regional education campaign on the district-level election and the referendum in Wa in the Upper West Region, Dr Bin Salih called on the people to come out massively to vote “yes” at the referendum.

He said the exercise was necessary to amend the entrenched provision of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution which hitherto debarred partisanship in the district elections.
Dr Bin Salih said political governance would also be enhanced by the election of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

To that end, he said, Parliament could amend Articles 243 and 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution which would allow MMDCEs to be elected to introduce a multi-partisan local government system in the country.

Attendance

The programme, which was attended by various stakeholders, including the traditional authorities, security services, students, heads of department, political parties and civil society organisations, was organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

EC Director

The Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Ali Osman, noted with concern the low turnout during district-level elections over the years, saying the highest turnout was recorded in the 1988/89 district-level elections and it was 59 per cent.

Mr Osman attributed the problem to apathy on the part of citizens, who he said, were not enthused about actively participating due to the absence of partisanship.

He was also not happy about the low level of participation by females and persons with disability, saying the highest percentage of female representation over the years was only 10 during the 2006 election.

For instance, he said, there was only one elected female, representing the Konta Electoral Area, and five other appointee members, constituting the 44-member Wa Municipal Assembly.

Also, out of the 11 municipal/district chief executives, Mr Osman pointed out that only two were females: the DCEs for the Nadowli/Kaleo District and Jirapa Municipal Assembly.

Source :graphic.com.gh