The National Democratic Congress untill yesterday, November 12, 2019 had advocated for Yes vote for the December 17 referendum which seeks to amend Article 55 (3) of the 1992 constitution to have political parties involvement in local level elections.
Below is a video and its full transcription of the NDC’s position at a forum organised by Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) on the theme: “Reforms, Benefits, Costs and Participation. MMDCEs Elections and the 17th December 2019 National Referendum.
The NDC was represented at the forum by Eric Edem Agbana, Deputy National Youth Organiser.
Thank you Madam Chairman and all protocol duly observed. I represent the National Democratic Congress, most especially the General Secretary, Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketia
This is one of the topics [one of the few topics] that both the NDC and the NPP seem to be in agreement. So I will not want to [giggles] I would not want to talk too much about the advantages of having a multiparty election at the local assemblies.
However our concern as a National Democratic Congress is that yes we are for referendum to have a multiparty election but if we are all interested in the outcome of the referendum and we are all asking our members to go for a YES, we should also be interested in the processes leading to the referendum. The Electoral Commission and its activities cannot be excluded from this process. Not too long ago we had one referendum which decided the creation of new regions and we believe as a party are we still strongly hold the view that the processes were compromised, the elections was [were] compromised.
The process with regards to registration of members, exhibition of voter register and the conduct of the election itself is very critical to this process so we are urging all the stakeholders that let us not only be interested in the outcome of the referendum we should also be interested in ensuring that the processes leading to the outcome of the referendum are free and fair and that is why we are asking all of you to not only be a partner in calling for the multi-party democracy at the local level, but you should also partner us in ensuring that the Electoral Commission in its conduct of all the activities and processes leading to any election is free and fair and that is the position of the NDC.
We are urging our members and we have asked all our members to also go out and vote for YES when the opportunity presents itself. However, like I said, the processes leading to the conduct of the elections is most critical to us and we [are] asking IDEC and all partners here and all our social partners to be onboard in ensuring that the Electoral Commission does the right things so that the process will not be compromised as we saw with regards to the referendum that led to the creation of the new regions.
As for the assembly elections and involvement of political parties the Honorable Ameyaw Cheremeh has pointed it out clearly. It is true that even though these elections are not partisan, when you get to the grounds, [it is] the political parties, we are conducting primaries, we decide which individual will best represent the interests of the party and all of that. I think that our democracy will become more meaningful if we take the devolution process properly to the grassroot level and ensure that we have a multi-party election and accountability can also be ensured. So the NDC is fully committed to the process, will encourage our members to vote a YES but once again in conclusion we are urging all of you as our social partners to join us in our efforts to ensure that the Electoral Commission in its conduct ensure that the right things are done so that we can have a free and fair election.