Calls for the December 17 Referendum to be postponed to 2020 over inadequate voter education are not feasible.

Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Eric Bossman Asare, who explained this said their schedule in 2020 would not allow it.

“We have a Presidential and Parliamentary election to deliver in 2020,” he said, adding the Commission will direct all its resources into the general election next year.

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He said the Commission has also invested financially in the Referendum and postponing it would come at a loss.

We have people who would be issuing ballot papers, he said, explaining the EC has injected a lot of money into recruiting personnel to help at the polling stations.

According to the political scientist, there is still a lot of time left to educate the populace about the purpose of the Referendum.

Confusion over the purpose of the referendum

The NDC, at a press conference, accused the President Akufo-Addo and his appointees of misinformation relating to the referendum.

The opposition party said the government had initially crafted education about the purpose of the referendum that it is about deciding to elect MMDCEs or not, which has been advocated for over the years.

The government, however, denies this.

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has, however, clarified that the Referendum is not about electing MMDCEs but whether or not to allow political party participation at local government.

Political party participation at assemblies

Article 55/3 bars political parties from participating in district level and other lower government unit elections.

Ghanaians are being asked to vote to repeal the Constitutional provision so political parties can field candidates for Unit Committee Member, Assembly and MMDCE elections.

Forty per cent of registered voters must vote and 75 per cent must endorse the amendment for it to pass.

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The ‘NO’ campaigners argue that the ills associated with the duopoly of the governing NPP and the biggest opposition, NDC must not be transferred to the local government.

Maintaining the election of officials on a non-partisan basis would foster better collaboration and development instead of officials simply towing the party line.

But the government and other ‘YES’ campaigners want partisan politics introduced to all aspects of the country. They say “it would cure winner takes all in the executive structure of the country.”

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