Technical Advisor of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae has stated that President Akuffo Addo has acted constitutionally contrary to suggestion by some Ghanaians that his decision to call off the December 17 referendum was unconstitutional.
Despite President Nana Akufo-Addo calling off the 17 December 2019 referendum on whether or not political parties should be allowed to sponsor candidates in local government elections, the Electoral Commission must go ahead with it to show it is really independent of the executive arm of government, private legal practitioner John Ndebugri has said.
Addressing the nation on Sunday, 1 December 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that the attainment of a broad consensus, for him, on a matter as important as the amendment of an entrenched provision of the Constitution is critical.
However, Dr. Oduro Osae explained that, ”the President being the head of the executive, has the right to introduce a bill to parliament. Parliament standing orders 132 and 133 says the executive can withdrawl the bill at anytime”
Speaking to Nana Akosua Ansah during the midday news on Dinpa 91.3FM Monday December 2, the Technical Advisor to the Ministry said eventhough government has incuured loses in the aborted process it was necessary to consider the unity and interest of the nation first.
”What makes this bill special is that, the Speaker of Parliament gave the bill to the Electoral Commission to conduct the referendum and so based on that the EC issued a Constitutional Instrument (C.I), to this effect I think its withdrawal will be quite difficult”, he noted.
”The President would have to initiate the withdrawal process because he (President) cannot compel the EC to withdraw the C.I because its an independent body”.
”And so the President has directed the Local Government Minister and the Attorney General to meet the Speaker of Parliament for the bills to be withdrawn. In this case, the Speaker will also communicate the decision to the EC to withdrawl the C.I”
”Let me state categorically that, the President has not withrawn the bills”.
By: Akua Nyarko Abronoma/Dinpafm.com