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Ace Ankomah offers solution after referendum call off

Legal luminary, Ace Ankomah, has proffered possible solution to the proposed election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), which has been characterized by confusion.

In an opinion piece, Ace Ankomah, argues that nothing stops President Akufo-Addo from advertising the positions, if he is determined to give equal opportunity to the citizenry.

“When it comes to the MMDCEs, nothing stops a president from advertising the positions for Ghanaians to apply for the jobs.

“Then we can conduct intensive job interviews and settle on the best people for the jobs. If the Assemblies are truly involved in the interview and selection process, the 2/3 vote needed to confirm shouldn’t be a problem,” the astute lawyer stressed.

The Electoral Commission had announced a national referendum to vote on the proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow political parties to participate in the district-level elections would be held together with the Assembly and Unit Committee elections.

Currently, Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution bars political parties from participating in District Level Elections.

The provision could only be amended through a referendum where at least 40 percent of persons entitled to vote, cast their ballots at the referendum and at least 75 percent of the votes should be in favour of passing the Bill.

A referendum was to decide on an amendment of Article 55 (3) of the constitution to enable political parties to participate in local level elections.

But President Akufo-Addo in a national address on Sunday said there was no “durable national consensus” on the matter and cancelled the referendum.

Below is Ace Ankomah’s full statement

Maybe Ghanaians like the Constitution, just the way it is, for now

The framers of our much-maligned Constitution were sufficiently smart to demand super majorities for any attempt to amend the Constitution.

Non-entrenched clauses require a 2/3 majority of MPs. Entrenched clauses require a referendum with a minimum 40% voter turnout and with 75% of them voting “YES.”

Steep hill.

Since the ‘92 parliamentary election boycott gave the then ruling party the 2/3 majority and then they amended the Constitution to literally bleach out the specific roles of the Veep, Ghanaians have voted to deny every winning party of that supermajority.

We give you a good enough parliamentary majority to rule as you like so that you can’t blame the opposition for what you are unable to do. But when it comes to our Constitution, you either build broad consensus with the opposition and everyone, or forget it.

When Ghanaians are ready to amend the Constitution, they will give a winning party that 2/3 majority in Parliament and then signal that they are ready to give the 75% of 40% popular vote required.

Till then, we are stuck with this document, darts, warts, farts and all. Let’s do the best that we can with it.

When it comes to the MMDCEs, nothing stops a president from advertising the positions for Ghanaians to apply for the jobs.

Then we can conduct intensive job interviews and settle on the best people for the jobs. If the Assemblies are truly involved in the interview and selection process, the 2/3 vote needed to confirm shouldn’t be a problem.

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