Crusaders against Corruption (CAC) Ghana has stated that December 17 referendum borders on a proposed amendment to allow political parties to participate in the district level elections, by sponsoring individual candidates to the district assemblies or the lower government units.
A press statement signed by Emmanuel Wilson Jnr. Chief Crusader of the group, said the referendumis in no way related to the country having an election at the district level and local government units.
The group further noted that over $6 million from the tax payer was invested in the work of the Constitution Review Commission from the period of January 2010 to December 2011.
“After a thorough and extensive consultation with the rank and file of Ghanaians on the question of partisan local government, the following were observed in their report which was submitted to the nation on Tuesday the 20th of December 2011:
As a result of the corruption in Ghana’s body politic, partisan politics in local elections may lead to the erosion of popular support for local assemblies.
Where local elections are held on partisan bases, nomination rules determined and deployed by national parties can serve as impediments to accountability. This also weakens local government systems.
In jurisdictions where political parties play a role in the elections at the local level, without clear rules that stipulate the inclusion of certain disadvantaged or minority segments of society, the system may easily engender dominance by majority groups, more powerful social groups and persons who have enough money to spread around for the purpose of attracting votes.
The Committee of Experts which drafted the proposals for the 1992 Constitution noted that the non-partisan nature of the District Assemblies has the potential to facilitate the mobilization of the people at the local level and is more conducive to consensus formation, factors that are crucial to development efforts at the grassroots level.
At the Consultative Assembly, ―the mode of elections at the local level was one of the topical issues that engaged the minds of the members of the Public Services Committee of the Assembly, tasked to deliberate on the subject matter of De-centralization and Local Government.
The Assembly ultimately decided to retain a non-partisan local government system as first established in 1988.”
Crusaders against Corruption Ghana argued that it fully associate with the empirical facts that over 60 years of Ghana’s independence has seen the detrimental effects of party politics in the country.
The group said “we need not make it worse by expanding the activities of political parties into the local governance structure.
“As a nation, we must be seen to be building an effective and efficient public administration system in each municipality or district for the betterment of every citizen, not just engaging in divisive partisan politics.”
Crusaders against Corruption Ghana described the upcoming referendum as a non-beneficial venture, a total waste of the tax payers’ money.
They, therefore, demanded a complete cancellation of the upcoming referendum.
The group added that should the government insist on wasting the tax payers money by engaging in this referendum, then Ghanaians who believe in the fight against corruption, should vote “an emphatic No in the referendum.”