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LPG, UPP Disagree On Referendum Call Off   
 
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05-Dec-2019  
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Mr Kofi Akpaloo
 
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The Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) and the United Progressive Party (UPP) have expressed different sentiments following President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s decision to call off the December 17 national referendum.

Whereas the LPG laid the blame at the feet of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for “exhibiting bad faith” in the whole referendum process, the UPP is convinced that the president’s “failure to undertake adequate education and his Yes stand for the referendum caused the fiasco”.

Sharing their views in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic, the two parties agreed that the manner and way in which the referendum turned out was disappointing.

Background

President Akufo-Addo, last Sunday, called off the referendum slated for December 17 this year, saying there was lack of broad, national consensus among key stakeholders and the populace.

He consequently instructed the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, who was spearheading the process on behalf of the government, to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the Constitution, both in respect of articles 243(1) and 55(3).

Prior to the call off, a number of stakeholders, including political parties had shared different views on the referendum with some calling for a Yes vote while others advocated for a No vote.

The two main political parties—the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the NDC—had admonished their supporters and the voting community to vote for Yes and No respectively.

In one of the President’s explanation for the calling off of the referendum, he said: “I do not believe that such an amendment should be driven as a party matter.
There has to be a clear national consensus and agreement among the populace that a particular entrenched provision no longer serves the interest of the people and, thus, has to be removed,”

LPG position

Sharing the party’s position, the founder and leader of the LPG, Mr Kofi Akpaloo, said the party would lay the blame at the doorstep of the NDC.

He explained that the NDC, for some strange reason, decided to do “U-turn” after it had joined other parties to campaign for Yes vote.

The decision of the NDC, Mr Akpaloo contended, forced the President to call off the referendum because the chance of attaining the 70 per cent vote from the 40 per cent total turnout was too slim to achieve.

“If one major political party who has pledged to support the campaign decides to pull out at the eleventh hour knowing that without them it would be difficult to achieve the success, what else can the President do?” he asked.

Mr Akpaloo said the LPG would not blame the President for its decision but rather the NDC, adding that if the process had been done and success chalked up, smaller political parties would be empowered at the local level.

“As it stands now smaller political parties in the country will continue to face challenges at the district level elections,” he added.

UPP stand

The Founder of the UPP, Mr Akwasi Addai aka Odike, attributed the referendum fiasco to the President’s and the NPP’s call for “a Yes vote” at the beginning of the process.

He said the whole process should have been left in the hands of Ghanaians to decide and not for a certain stand to be taken for the people.

Mr Addai said the party would have gone for a No vote, adding that President Akufo-Addo decided to call off the referendum because “he realised the NPP’s agenda would fail without the other parties campaigning for a Yes vote”.

“Going into election 2020, the President realised that the failure of the referendum would be an indictment on his campaign so he called it off,” he added.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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