The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) Akwapim South district office and Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) have engaged the people of Pokrom on the impending District Level Election (DLE) and the Referendum.
The two institutions have intensified their campaign on the district level elections and the Referendum through public education to create awareness on the impending exercise.
According to Akwapim South NCCE Director, Mr Alex Owusu Akyaw, they are doing this to increase participation as well as increase voter turnout to meet the constitutional requirements of district-level elections and the referendum, 2019.
He said the process is to access opportunity to expand their sovereignty in participatory democracy in local government elections to involve political parties.
The District Level Elections are to elect Assembly members and the Referendum is to amend article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana and it would be held on 17th December, 2019 at the respective polling centres throughout the Country.
The Referendum is to seek the mandate of the people of Ghana who have the voting powers to decide on the amendment to the constitution of Ghana.
The constitution has two ways to the amendments of the provisions of the constitution; the entrenched provisions and the enshrined provisions.
The entrenched provisions are the articles which cannot be changed by parliament unless it seeks the mandate of the people whilst, the enshrined provision are articles which can go through the proceedings of parliament to effect the necessary changes.
The Referendum seeks to amend 55(3) to allow political parties to be involved in the election of the assembly members, unit committee members as well as District Chief Executives in furtherance to expand the activities of the political parties in the district-level elections.
Under the decentralization of the local government system, article 243 states that, the president upon coming into power has the prerogative power and responsibility to appoint and overturn the appointment of the District Chief Executive of the District Assemblies who will act for and on behalf of the government to the people.
The amendment is seeking to change this article to allow the people to elect their district chief executives.
These elections are very crucial in the history of Ghana since three ballot boxes are going to be provided to voters to vote in three separate elections. One for assembly members, one for unit committee members and the other for the referendum.
The referendum is a “Yes” or “No” on the ballot paper. The voter is allowed to cast a vote for “Yes” to accept the decision for the amendment or a “No” vote to reject the amendment.