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Politics of Saturday, 21 December 2019


Withdrawal of referendum, cause of low turnout in local level election

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Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said the withdrawal of the referendum affected people’s enthusiasm and turnout in the just-ended District Level Elections.

He has, therefore, urged stakeholders, especially the “No Campaigners” to start revising their notes “so we can build a national consensus towards amending the Article 55 (3) to make the political parties a social mobilisation institution in the local level elections”.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on the trend of the district level election, Dr Osae said even though the trend of voting had not changed much, from the way the election went, however, it was not surprising that it recorded a lower turn out compared to previous ones.

“And this is why we have always been saying that in any democracy, you need a social mobilisation institution like a political party or a centre that will mobilise people to come out and vote just as is being done at the national level where we are able to mobilise about 80 per cent of the people to vote”.

“At the local level we don’t have it there, we leave it only to the assembly members to do the mobilisation, who don’t have the resources to do that”.

He expressed disappointed at the neglect of the local elections by the electorate, adding that it was a great disservice to the nation.

He commended the Electoral Commission for its preparation towards the elections adding; "For the first time, ballot papers were ready and they went ahead of time while the EC also used some private printers to print the papers".

Dr Oduro Osae said, going forward, the Ministry was going to step up education, and strengthen the unit committees and other structures in the local governance process.

He said the National Commission for Civic Education would be empowered and partnered to intensify continuous education on the local governance system.

That would enable it to inform the citizens on the roles of the unit committees and assembly members so people would be able to understand their work.