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‘You can cancel referendum but not your 2020 defeat’ – NDC to Akufo-Addo

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National Communication Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Lawyer Sammy Gyamfi has told President Akufo-Addo that unlike sanctioning the cancellation of the December 17, 2019 referendum for the fear of deafeat, there is nothing he can do to avert his defeat in the 2020 polls.

A statement from the presidency Sunday night announced that the referendum, seeking to determine whether or not partisan politics should be given place in local government elections, had been put on hold, citing “the lack of broad, national consensus amongst key stakeholders and the populace.”

This was after the NDC and dozens of civil society organisations had mounted spirited campaign for Ghanaians to vote ‘No’ as against the government’s campaign for ‘Yes’.

It is believed majority of Ghanaians of voting age was not in support of amending Article 55(3) or politicising the Metro, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) elections, hence the president had to call it off to save his image.

Calling off the referendum has attracted a number of reactions, with some governance experts saying the tax payers’ funds had been wasted to campaign for the ‘yes’ votes.

The NDC holds same view despite claiming victory, and that has been reiterated by its spokesperson, Sammy Gyamfi, in a statement.

“This is a clear victory for the NDC and all “No Vote” advocates. Our collective nationalistic decision to put Ghana first has paid off,”he said.

Mr Gyamfi quickly refuted government’s claim that NDC’s 2020 flag bearer, former president John Mahama, had earlier, agreed to support the amendment of the Article 55 (3).

“For the records, it’s a barefaced lie that President Mahama agreed to the amendment of article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to allow for the introduction of partisanship in our local government system as alleged by President Akufo-Addo. The attempt to use JM as a cover for this national embarrassment will not wash,” he explained.

He added that although Nana Akufo-Addo had called the referendum off, he can never dodge his defeat in the 2020 general elections since he has become unpopular.

“Mr. President, you can cancel the December 17 referendum for fear of defeat, but you cannot cancel the impending defeat that awaits you on December 7th 2020,” he said in the statement.

Below is his statement;

At long last, President Akufo-Addo has chickened out of the December 17 referendum for fear of defeat.

This is a clear victory for the NDC and all “No Vote” advocates. Our collective nationalistic decision to put Ghana first has paid off.

And, did I hear the President say that he believes YES would have won if the referendum had come off? If that is so and the President sincerely believes that YES would have garnered the required 75% of valid vote cast, then why the cancelation of the referendum on grounds of lack of national consensus? Why waste the Public purse like this? What national consensus does the President need again if he indeed has the support of 75% of voters?

For the records, it’s a barefaced lie that President Mahama agreed to the amendment of article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to allow for the introduction of partisanship in our local government system as alleged by President Akufo-Addo. The attempt to use JM as a cover for this national embarrassment will not wash.

By the way, since when did President Akufo-Addo start to listen to any constructive suggestions from the NDC? Quite clearly, after wasting the public purse on this needless venture, the President ought to be giving us better accountability than these desperate blame games.

Mr. President, you can cancel the December 17 referendum for fear of defeat, but you cannot cancel the impending defeat that awaits you on December 7th, 2020.

Sammy Gyamfi

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