The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei Mensah, has tasked the information officers Department in the Region to ensure effective sensitization on the 2019, District Assembly Elections and Referendum come December 17, 2019 so as to attain government vision to amend article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution.
He said, Article 55(3), which is an entrenched clause of the 1992 Constitution prohibits District Level Elections to be organised by Electoral Commission on partisan basis.
Mr. Osei Mensah, further explained that, an entrench clause, is protected by the constitution and cannot be amended; except the electorate approves so by general vote of registered qualified voters unlike the Article 243(1) which is not an entrenched clause.
As such, will be amended in parliament to enable the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage.
This he said, both articles of the 1992 Constitution when amended will allow for candidates standing for District Level Elections to be sponsored by political parties.
He opined that, District Level Elections will, as result, be conducted on partisan political party lines; permitting political parties to present candidates.
Candidates at the District Level Elections, as a result, shall use the name of a political party, it’s motto, it’s slogan or it’s symbol to canvas for votes and the results will be announced in the name of the said political party.
A Political party is also eligible to endorse or sponsor a candidates of preference. He stressed.
Mr. Osei Mensah said, ‘’per the constitutional requirements, we are expected to attain 40% turn out and 75% of the total turn out must votes yes after the polls’’ .
He reiterated government’s commitment to bringing governance closer to the people and also to provide them the opportunity to elect their leaders at their various Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts levels.
He, therefore, admonished the political parties and other stakeholders to put their political colours aside and come together as one family to propagate the benefits that come with the amendment of these two articles in the 1992 Constitution to accomplish this historical achievement for future generations.
He made this appeal during a day training workshop for Information Services Department staff in the Ashanti Region held at Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council Auditorium with the aim of adopting campaign strategies and how to raise public awareness exercise towards the Districts Assembly Elections and referendum.
In attendance were, the Ashanti Regional Officer, Information Services Department (ISD), Nana Akrasi Sarpong, Municipal and District Information Officers (MIO/DIOs), Journalists, Senior Assistant Officers (SIAs), Mobile Cinema Commentators and Mobile Cinema Operators (MCO) drawn from all the (47) Municipality and District Assemblies within the region.
On his part, the Regional Information Officer (RIO) of ISD Nana Akrasi Sarpong, on the other hand took the participants through campaign messages to be delivered and other aspect of the referendum.
He, therefore, commended the government for recognising their influence in society to be part of this important exercise.
Nana Akrasi however, pledged for a successful campaign exercise in order contribute their quota to achieve the proposed referendum and District Assembly Elections, which comes off on 17th December, 2019 to enhance deepen democracy.
By: Daniel Akwasi Nuako.