Parliament of Ghana

The December 17 referendum is officially off the books as Parliament okays the withdrawal of the Constitutional Instrument by the Attorney-General (AG), Gloria Akuffo.

JoyNews Parliamentary Correspondent, Kwesi Parker-Wilson, reported Monday that, the promise by President Nana Akufo-Addo to withdraw the bill, was made good when the AG prayed the House to give her leave to withdraw the said CI which was subsequently granted by First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu.

The amendment, until the withdrawal, would have given the electorate power to elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.

A referendum to be held some two weeks from now, would have also introduced partisan politics at the local government level.

But, President Akufo-Addo in a televised address to the nation Sunday night, aborted processes for the referendum and indicated that, the Local Government Ministry would officially withdraw it on the floor of the House.

“It is with deep regrets that I have given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development who will spear this process on behalf of government with commendable vigour and dynamism to abort the process and seek the withdrawal of the Bills for the amendment of the constitution both in respect of Article 243(1) and Article 55(3),” the President said.

“In these circumstances, I am convinced that it will not serve the public interest to go ahead with the holding of the referendum on the December 17, though I believe that a strong campaign for a ‘Yes’vote would have succeeded,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

But that move was described by Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, as unconstitutional.

Mr Iddrisu, who is also the Tamale South Member of Parliament, accused the President of lynching the constitution by withdrawing the said CI.

Meanwhile, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, has countered the argument of the Minority.

At a joint press briefing addressed by the Attorney-General, Local Government Minister and the Majority Leader, the three Ministers argued that the President did nothing unconstitutional by withdrawing the CI.