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General News of Thursday, 28 March 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

EC to hold referendum on MMDCEs election with district level elections

The Electoral Commission (EC) will conduct the district level elections for assembly members together with the referendum on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in the last quarter of this year.

This will be the latest step in the Akufo-Administration’s promise to oversee the direct election of MMDCEs within 24 months of election into office, to coincide with the District Assembly elections in 2019.

The government had earlier said it expected the referendum to be concluded by September 2019.

The Commission is thus expected to undertake a limited voter registration exercise in May.

This exercise will take place in all district offices of the Commission, per outcomes of an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) Meeting held on Wednesday.

In a press release signed by EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, the Commission says it will publish a time table and the roadmap for the district level elections in a week’s time.

The Government in February 2019 laid the Bill to amend the Constitution to allow for the election of MMDCEs.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had earlier presented the Bill on the amendment of some articles in the 1992 Constitution back in October 2018.

The articles slated for amendment are Article 243 (1) on the appointment of MMDCEs by the President and Article 55 (3), which prohibits the involvement of political parties in district-level elections.

On the roadmap for the election, the government has indicated that the election process would be in three phases; Pre-Referendum Activities, Referendum Activities, Post-Referendum Activities and the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution.

The Pre-Referendum processes consist of the formation of an election committee, which was established in 2017 and the review of legislation and preparation of background document.

The regional consultations and sensitization to raise and prepare for the referendum have also been conducted.

Per Article 290 (4), at least 40 per cent of the citizens are expected to vote at the referendum with 75 per cent of them backing the Bill to be passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.