Dr. Archibald Letsa (photo credit: IGNetwork)

By: Akpabli Daniel Yao/VR

Also Published in the Finder Newspaper 

The Volta Regional Minister Dr. Archibald Letsa has launched the Citizen Education and Awareness Raising Campaign on District Level Election (DLES) and referendum to amend article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana in the Regional Capital (Ho).
The Minister who was accompanied by His Deputy Reverend Johnson Avuletey also have in attendance some national and regional heads of departments including Mr. Samuel Asare Akwaomoh – Deputy National Chairman, National Commission on Civic Education, Mr. Stephen Adjah – Regional Director Information Service Department, Mr. Eric Kofi Dzakpasu – Deputy Regional Director Electoral Commission, Mr. Beneth Ahiable – Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Mr. Kenneth Kponoh Regional Director – National Commission on Civic Education, DSP Sadat Yidan – Representative of the Regional Commander, Ghana Prison Service, Mr. John Amanor Terkpetey – Regional Director, Labour Department, Heads of departments from the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s) across the Volta Region, Representatives of some Political Parties some Chiefs and Queens from the Ho, the Assembly members from Ho and members from the public.
According to Mr. Letsa, the exercise is poised to take Ghana’s democracy to another level which both major parties have agreed.
He noted that, if this is carried out well, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s) will be more accountable to the people who elected them.
He said, over the years, we are playing the “ostrich” kind of attitude by pretending as if the assembly elections are non-Partisan meanwhile in reality, citizens elect their Assembly members based on their political affiliations.
“Now we want to do the right thing by bringing party politics into it” he added.
Mr. Eric Kofi Dzakpasu – Deputy Volta Regional Director, Electoral Commission, stated that, the launch will kick start the publicity for the referendum on the processes for the need to Elect MMDCE’s. 
He mentioned that, the Electoral Commission is very busy due to preparation towards the upcoming District Elections as well as the the referendum.
He hinted that, forms will be available for interested peoples who want to contest in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly election from Thursday, 3rd to Saturday, October 5 and between 7 and 11 shall be allocated for vetting and approval of these forms.
 He also noted that, voter turnout on the district elections has always been on the low across the nation and called on citizens to come out in their numbers to vote in this referendum in order to meet the threshold.
Mr. Kenneth Kponoh, the Regional Director – National Commission on Civic Education, observed that, for us as a country to achieve the threshold, there is the need for everyone to come in their number to vote.
He said, 40% turnout and 75% votes are needed to amend the constitution to enable political party’s participation in the local government elections and with this, he said, the commission has a herculean task to surmount to looking at the political history of voter turnout in previous elections.
He said the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) will reach out to places where there is a human beings for education and with the hope of support of stakeholders, everything the commission does will succeed.
Mr. Samuel Asare Akwaomoh – Deputy National Chairman, National Commission on Civic Education in his turn explain that, even though the districts elections are non-partisan, we have in some ways played politics with it over the years.
He observed that, the 30% of the people with special skills which were to be appointed by the government in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are also appointed with the political perception leaving out the special skills aspect.
He further charged the media to help reset the agenda so we get the scope for the realization of the need to bring the partisan participation into it.
“Engage your MP’s more if you are doing your engagement on this referendum because they also have a role to play in parliament as far as this process is concern. Let us not see the referendum as ultimate. Parliament need to amend the article 243(1) for this to be actionable” he added.

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