The December 17 referendum is not to elect metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) but to seek public approval for the amendment of Article 55 (3), which bars political parties from participating in local elections, a local government expert, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, has said.
He said the election of MMDCEs could only take place in 2021 contrary to views by people that the election of the officers would take place this year.
Dr Osae said since all political parties captured the need to elect MMDCEs in their 2016 manifestoes, it would be strange if they failed to endorse it.
He said failure to do so would mean they all deceived the Ghanaian electorate which could have dire consequences on their political fortunes.
Dr Osae was addressing regional and district information officers from the Information Services Department (ISD) in Kumasi last Monday at a training workshop on the referendum. It was to fully equip them with the relevant laws and the election process.
He said ahead of the 2021 election, a four-phased activity would have to be done to merit the process.
They are the pre-referendum activities which are already in flight (education stage), the referendum proper on December 17, then if there is a ‘Yes’ vote, an amendment of the entrenched clause by Parliament.
The final phase, he said, was change management and capacity building.
Dr Osae indicated that the amendment of the entrenched clause would lead to consequential amendments including the Local Governance Act, the Security and Intelligence Act, the District Assembly Election Act and the Political Parties Act to conform to the new trends.
The acting Director of the ISD, Mr Charles Wereko, said in line with the new policy, the department intended to begin massive retooling, refurbishment of its facilities and improve in the professionalism of staff.