“The student population forms an important segment of the country’s voting population and we have to make sure that they take part in the referendum and the district level elections,” she stated.According to her, for the required 40 per cent turnout and 75 per cent ‘Yes’ votes to be achieved in order to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to ensure the participation of political parties in district level governance, there was the need to ensure that all registered voters were mobilised to exercise their franchise on December 17, 2019.
Ms Nkrumah was responding to a concern raised by a student during the launch of Citizens’ Education and Awareness Campaign Programme in Sunyani last Friday for the forthcoming district level elections and referendum to determine whether partisan politics should be introduced at the local level.
The student had expressed concern about how academic calendars had not been factored into previous elections and thus, denied registered students the opportunity to exercise their franchise during such elections.
Ms Nkrumah, who described the concern of the student as timely, promised to draw the attention of the Electoral Commission (EC) and other stakeholders to the issue for them to see how the interest of students could be factored into the December, 2019 referendum and district level elections of MMDCEs.
She said it was the view of almost all the political parties who took part in the 2016 general election that metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives should be elected.Ms Nkrumah said for that to be achieved, Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched provision and barred political parties from taking part in district level elections, should be amended.
“What we have to take note of is that the district level election is the most important, since it is the one that determines the path of development within our localities”.
She said it was important for Ghanaians to have a say in the development of their communities and, therefore, appealed to opinion leaders, chiefs and the clergy to join hands in efforts to sensitise Ghanaians to take part in the referendum and the district level election, since voting was a civic responsibility.
“It is not what the Member of Parliament (MP) promises you or what the President talks about, but it is actually at the local level that you and I have power to determine how development should go in our country,” she stated.
For her part, the Bono Regional Director of the NCCE, Ms Doris Bongo, said her outfit had drawn an elaborate programme to sensitise people in all the 12 districts in the region to ensure a high voter turnout on December 17, 2019.
“We need to sustain our public engagement to whip up interest and mobilise the citizenry towards attaining a higher voter turnout in the upcoming DLEs and referendum.
“Let us also note that the referendum, the district assembly and the unit committee elections shall take place on the same day,” she stated.
Ms Nkrumah and her team also launched the sensitisation programme at Goaso in the Ahafo Region to kick-start the NCCE’s public engagement with people in the region.