Prior to announcing the withdrawal of the contentious referendum in a national broadcast on Sunday night, President Nana Akufo-Addo said he had believed that a meeting he had with the three former presidents -John Rawlings, John Kufuor and John Mahama- on April 18, 2017, at which the referendum was discussed, ended with a general agreement that political parties be allowed to participate in local assembly elections.
“I came away from that meeting with the view that there was consensus amongst us that the time had come for political parties to participate openly in district assembly elections and local governance,” the President indicated.
But Mr Mahama told JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson in an exclusive interview after a meeting with the Islamic Federation Council in Accra Tuesday, that indeed the meeting took place to look at three key issues.
He said they discussed the welfare of former presidents, the creation of new regions as well as the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
However, there was no agreement that the political parties should be allowed to participate in the election of MMDCEs, he revealed.
“President Kufuor was for political party participation in the election of MMDCEs [but]…I took the stance of the Fiadjoe Committee that we should still keep political parties out, that we can achieve the election of our DCEs without political party participation.
“President Rawlings did not express any firm stand but on that particular matter, there was no consensus even though we discussed it, there was consultation [but] there was no consensus,” the former president explained.
Mr Mahama said he maintained his position that the MMDCEs be elected as recommended by the Prof. Albert Committee.
The committee proposed that the president nominates five people for the position of MMDCE for a particular assembly to the Public Services Commission, where the list will further be pruned to three before they are presented to the public for election.
The referendum had sought to amend Article 243(1) and Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to enable MMDCEs and unit committee members to be elected along political party lines.
However, the question of whether to allow political party participation at the local government level dominated major discussions with the leading opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaigning for a ‘No Vote’.
President Akufo-Addo threw a jab at the NDC describing them as “hypocrites” who, after participating in stakeholder engagements and giving their consent for the exercise to be held, only made a last-minute u-turn to campaign for a ‘No vote’.
But Mr Mahama described the President’s comment as “unfortunate.”
“I think it was unfortunate for him to have said that it was hypocrisy on the side of the NDC, that was wrong. It was not only the NDC that rejected, but the Catholic Bishops also said ‘no’ the National House of Chiefs said ‘no’ and these are no means institutions in Ghana. And so he cannot accuse people of hypocrisy just because they hold a different viewpoint from he had intended.
“In addition, the impression had been created that the referendum was about the election of MMDCEs which it isn’t. The election MMDCEs is in the bosom of Parliament.
“If our parliamentarians agree that DCEs should be elected they can be elected. It’s just that we don’t want political parties bringing the polarisation that we have at the national level into our local government system,” he stated.
Akufo-Addo won 2016 polls on corruption –Atik Mohammed
Campaigns on corruption about the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration is what won President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the 2016 polls, suspended General Secretary of the Peoples National Convention (PNC), Atik Mohammed has stated.
According to him on Accra-based Peace Fm monitored by MyNewsGh.com, the Mahama administration appeared sloppy in the fight against corruption which was capitalized on by the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to win the last general elections.
“Akufo-Addo won the 2016 polls based on his campaign for corruption because the Mahama administration was perceived to be corrupt. Ghanaians voted for him because they wanted a change but if his administration is worse off than the previous one then there was no point”, he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.
The former PNC leader expressed disappointment that out of the many corruption allegations no single individual has been thrown into the cooler to show the commitment of the Akufo-Addo led administration in the fight against graft.
Then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2014 stated categorically that enriching himself and family has never be his reason for being in politics.
In spite of his two failed attempts at the presidency at the time, he explained he was given it a third shot because he has dreamt about what the country’s destination ought to be, and wanted to take Ghanaians to that promised land.
“I am not in politics to fill my pockets, to enrich myself or my family or to steal your money. That’s not why I am in politics,” he stressed, adding I am in politics because I have a vision and a dream of what this country can be and I want to work to make that dream possible. I am asking you to give me the opportunity, support me. Where it is necessary to criticize me, do not hesitate, point out when things are going wrong. Give me your positive enthusiasm and let’s go forward together. We can make it and make Ghana truly the Black Star of Africa,” he promised.
We inherited a weak institution – EC boss
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Jean Mensah has disclosed that she inherited a very weak institution which was not founded on rules.
She’s also expressed worry about how the Commission was run as a free for all institution that lacked governance framework and was a subject of state capture by foreign elements.
“It is an institution that has is not founded on rules, is not founded on administrative policies, does not have a governance framework. We came into office and found out that we do not have a single policy to guide procurement, to guide finance, to guide human resource, nothing exists.
“In a nutshell, the Commission has existed as an election machine, and over the year we have spent a lot of efforts to plug the loopholes to the best of our ability. It has been run as a free for all institution,” she explained.
Asawase risks voting ‘skirt and blouse’ – Disgruntled NDC members
Some disgruntled members of the opposition NDC in the Asawase Constituency have vowed to vote ‘skirt and blouse’ in 2020 general elections.
They will change their only if national executives rescind their decision on Masawudu Mubarak’s disqualification.
The party members are discontented about the party’s functional executive committee’s decision to disqualify their preferred candidate to contest the parliamentary primaries.
The decision, they believe, does not reflect the interest of delegates in the constituency.
“The decision is disappointing and disgraceful,” says one of the disgruntled members, Akolgo Martin told Joy News’ Mohammed Nurudeen.
Mr Martin is among many others who claim delegates of the party in the constituency are angry because they have been taken for granted for far too long.
They are threatening to vote against any candidate who will represent the party in the 2020 general elections.
Clad in red bands with frustration clearly written on their faces, they vow to boycott 2020 elections if their preferred candidate isn’t given the go-ahead to contest.
Gathered at the residence of the disqualified aspirant, Masawudu Mubarak to throw their continuous support behind him, Mr Martin said, “If our decision affects the party in 2020 they (national executives) brought it, especially Asiedu Nketiah.”
“They keep on imposing candidates on us,” Martin alleged.
“‘You cannot go unopposed like that. Let the people choose you,” Mariam Nuhu, one of the women’s branches organisers said.
She said they would either boycott the 2020 elections or choose to vote skirt and blouse.
For them, it will only be prudent for the party hierarchy to change its decision and allow their candidate to contest.
The incumbent Asawase MP, Muntaka Mubarak will contest 2020 parliamentary elections on the ticket of the opposition NDC unopposed.
This follows the acceptance of a report by the Doe Adjaho Committee which was constituted look into petitions surrounding the selection of parliamentary candidates.
The NDC held parliamentary primaries nationwide but the elections were put on hold in five constituencies including Asawase.
Elections were later held in four of the constituencies leaving Asawase where some NDC members had filed a petition to the National Executive Council of the party.
This follows their inability to file the nomination form of Masawudu Mubarick, the aspirant who is challenging the incumbent.
In a statement copied to Joy News, the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the issues have been settled and Mr Mubarak will now go unopposed.
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