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House Of Chiefs Fight! …Over Referendum

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The National House of Chiefs is sitting on tenterhooks as there appears to be raging controversy over the position of the House over the impending December 17 referendum.

According to the House, any suggestion that the proposed referendum to allow partisan politics in local elections was not discussed by the house, as “not only dishonest but wanton mischief”.

The House said this in a statement issued over the weekend to refute claims that its decision to back a ‘NO’ vote against the December 17 referendum to allow partisan politics in local government, was not a collective one of the Chiefs.

Earlier in a statement dated November 14, the House said, based on recommendations of its Legal Committee it “strongly objects to the proposal that membership of local assemblies should exclusively comprise representatives of political parties, as in the case of Parliament.”

“We are therefore advocating for the outright rejection of the proposal to amend Article 55 (3) of the constitution…”

However, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II of Sefwi Anhwiaso and the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, say the decision on the matter was not taken through due process and thus did not reflect the collective view of the House of Chiefs.

According to both chiefs, they are unaware of any meeting held with such an agenda at the National House of Chiefs and as said by the Okyenhene, “the Standing Committee of the National House of Chiefs has no record of deliberations on the matter.”

In this light, the National House of Chiefs has issued a statement, detailing the various meetings and the consensus they arrived at, at the end of those meetings.

In the statement signed jointly by Togbe Afede XIV and Daasebre Nana Kwebu Ewusi VII, President and Vice President, respectively, the National House of Chiefs said, “The proposed referendum to allow partisan politics in our local elections was thoroughly discussed at the National House of Chiefs, both by the Standing committee and the General Meeting.”

According to the statement, the Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Nana Krobea Asante presented a report on the issue of the referendum to the house, which formed the basis of the recent press statement, as it was adopted as the position of the House.

The report recommended that “The house should strongly object to the notion that membership of local assemblies should exclusively comprise representatives of political parties, as in parliament.”

The National House of Chiefs says the view that the proposed December 17 referendum to allow partisan politics in local elections was not discussed at their meetings, is not only dishonest, but wanton mischief.

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