The Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre East in the Ashanti Region, Hon. Francisca Oteng-Mensah, is urging Ghanaians to reject calls by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to vote ‘NO’ during the December 17 referendum.
She observes that the wicked campaign embarked on by the opposition is laced with deliberate distortions, misinformation and falsehoods aimed at deceiving the citizenry and swaying them from a clearer understanding of what they stand to achieve by voting ‘YES’
“They are doing so with the view to misleading and hoodwinking Ghanaians not to support the referendum in order to serve their parochial interest at the expense of the nation”, she said.
Ghana’s youngest lawmaker is therefore appealing to her constituents and the Ghanaian public in general to vote ‘YES’ in the upcoming December 17 referendum explaining that voting ‘YES’ births multiparty democracy at the District Assembly Levels urging all to go out there and campaign massively for an emphatic YES vote in order to meet the required constitutional threshold of 75%.
According to her, a YES vote will provide a greater opportunity for citizens of voting age to participate in political activities intended to influence policies at the local government level and also meet the constitutional mandate imposed on political parties to freely participate in shaping the political will of the people and thereby strengthen the nation’s local government regime.
In her view, all patriotic citizens to ignore the NO campaign being championed by a section of the NDC leadership and few others in the pursuit of a clandestine agenda
She said, the NDC, throughout the processes leading to the referendum, was in consensus with all the other political parties and civil society organizations and had, in fact, canvassed strong arguments in favour of a YES vote to allow political parties to participate in local government, and therefore wondered why the party would make a hypocritical U-turn at the eleventh hour, barely 4 weeks to the referendum.
The NDC’s press conference announcing their U-turn in breach of the consensus they had reached with all the political parties and with civil society organizations as well as on the floor of parliament, according to her, has only exposed the NDC’s hypocrisy, treachery, inconsistency and deceit. “Nobody is taking issues with the NDC for having a change of mind, but equity demands that, they do this with some candour and sincerity. They should not deliberately create their own distortions and falsehood and then on the basis of that suggest that it is rather government and the NPP that had acted in bad faith when in fact and indeed, all the processes leading to the referendum thus far were done with their concurrence and active participation having fully appreciated the essence of the exercise.
It is sad that leaders of the NDC are ready to sacrifice their credibility and the image of multi-party democracy by openly breaching the faith and trust they engendered in religious groups by proclaiming YES to the Referendum”, she indicated.
The Member of Parliament has since held a sensitization meeting with some of her constituents to educate them on the upcoming referendum and rally them to join the campaign for an overwhelming YES vote in order to successfully amend Article 55(3) of the Constitution to allow political parties sponsor candidates for local government elections, and for voters to be able to hold political parties directly accountable for their stewardship at the local and not just the national level.