NDC’s U-turn on referendum regrettable-Prez

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed regret at the opposition National Democratic Congress over their U-turn on the referendum.

“They indicated further that they will actively campaign for a ‘No’ vote. In as much as I still believe that there is enough support in the country for a ‘Yes’ vote to be successful on 17th December, I do not believe that this is the proper atmosphere in which an issue of such nature, i.e. the repeal of an entrenched provision of the Constitution, should be addressed in our country,” he said.

Even after their U-turn, the President revealed that he undertook consultations across a broad range of opinion as to the way forward, with the general result being that the process of repeal should be put on hold, for the time being, to enable a durable, national consensus to be forged on this matter.

“In these circumstances, I am convinced that it will not serve the public interest to go ahead with the holding of the Referendum on 17th December, even though I believe a strong campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote would have succeeded. This is not the kind of atmosphere in which the repeal of an entrenched provision of the Constitution should take place,” he added.

Despite having an unrepentant belief in party politics being good for the country, President Akufo-Addo stated that “I also think that, on matters of such constitutional significance, there should be a broad, national consensus behind the repeal of an entrenched provision of the Constitution”.

The President assured that his Government will continue to work for a broad, national consensus on the issue, adding that “should such a consensus be attained for the repeal of article 55(3) of the Constitution, and an agreement reached for political parties to participate in and sponsor candidates for election to district assemblies, at any point during my tenure of office as President of the Republic, the matter will be brought again back to the front burner of our public discourse for the necessary action”.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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