President Akufo-Addo has directed the local government minister to withdraw the bills seeking to make changes to some entrenched provisions of the constitution to enable Ghanaians elect their MMDCEs.
The directive also means the December 17 referendum to decide on political parties involvement in local level polls has also been put on freeze.
In a televised address to the nation Sunday, the President said he triggered the amendment after broad consultation with his predecessors on the need for Ghanaians to elect their MMDCEs.
“So fellow Ghanaians, it is of deep regret that I have given instructions to the minister for local government and Rural development who will spearhead the process with commendable vigour and dynamism on behalf of the government to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the constitution both in respect of article 24 (31) and Article 52 (2)”.
The President, however, accused the opposition NDC of turning back on their initial support for a ‘yes’ vote in the planned referendum.
On Saturday, flagbearer of the NDC former President John Mahama reiterated his parties opposition to a ‘yes vote’.
“It should be made clear that the referendum on 17th December is not about whether District Chief Executives should be elected or not. It is about whether political parties should participate in our local government,” he noted at the Damba festival in the Savannah Region.
On government officials speaking on the referendum, Mahama said: “either do not understand the distinction in respect of the referendum or there is a deliberate calculation or there is a deliberate calculation to confuse our people to think that the referendum is about the election of District Chief Executives”.
Meanwhile, The Electoral Commission has directed its regional accountants to ‘hold on’ with the issuance of funds to the respective branches for the December referendum.
An internal memo from the deputy chairperson of the commission in charge of operation to staff sighted by Starr News did not give a reason for the directive.
The memo also directed that a scheduled training for officers ahead of the referendum should be put on hold.
“I write to request you to kindly hold on to funds meant for Referendum balance Issuers. Regional Directors are required to ensure that this directive is strictly complied with. Please standby for further directives in due cause.
“Regional Directors are kindly requested to inform District Electoral Officers to hold on with the organization of the impending Grassroots Trainin Workshops scheduled to start from tomorrow, Friday. 2th’ November, 2019 until they have received funds for that purpose,’ the two memos addressed to staff read.