The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour has urged the public to support President Akufo-Addo's commitment towards the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) by voting massively in the referendum.
He said the referendum required that about 5.1 million (75 per cent) voters out of 16.8 billion (40 per cent) eligible voters, turned out to vote Yes to the Referendum for the amendment of Article 55 Clause 3 of the 1992 Constitution.
According to the minister, the number of Yes votes was crucial as without the 75 per cent votes, there will be no agreement to change the Article and power would not be given to the public to choose their own Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
Mr Kwakye Darfour said this when he launched the Eastern Regional public sensitisation and awareness raising campaign, on the District Level Elections (DLEs)and Referendum for the amendment of Article 55(3), organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Koforidua.
The campaign launch was to encourage and educate the public on the need to come out in their numbers to participate in the upcoming DLE considering the fact that the, Assembly and unit committee elections recorded low turn-out.
The minister explained that although a bill was passed in parliament to give the public the mandate to choose MMDCEs, parliament could not debate on it without a referendum, for every voter to understand its importance.
He indicated that Article 55(3) of the Constitution barred political parties from participating in DLEs that needed to be amended to engage political parties in the grassroot electoral activities to whip up public interest and ensure transparency and accountability in the local governance system.
He urged the public to do away with politics and support the campaign to teach people to understand why they should vote for the Referendum to change the law to enhance community mobilisation and allow full participation of political leaders in elections.
Madam Ajaara Mohammed, a Commission member at NCCE, said the Referendum was a means to determine whether to amend Article 55(3), but not what would be used in December to elect MMDCEs.
She asked that stakeholders and the media not to confuse, but educate them on why they should vote in their numbers.
The Regional Coordinator of Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), Mr Edmund Quaynor, noted that IDEG was explaining to stakeholders and political parties the need to get the grassroot level involved in selecting their own MMDCEs.
He said IDEG was happy the Referendum was there for the people to choose leaders at the grassroot levels.
The Regional Representatives of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said the introduction of a referendum was a good way to prevent the winner takes all and would also help the parties to know their strengths at the grassroots.