No individual, including President Nana Akufo-Addo, can stop the upcoming referendum on 17 December 2019 on whether or not the 1992 Constitution should be amended to allow political parties to sponsor candidates in local government elections, private legal practitioner John Ndebugri has said.
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, recently said once the president has triggered the processes, the electorate must be allowed to make their own decision at the referendum, adding that cancellation as being proposed by some prominent government officials as well as critics, is not an option.
The Tamale South MP quoted Article 290 of the 1992 Constitution to buttress his point, maintaining that “once the President has triggered the process, he is obliged and mandated by law to go the full course like a medical dosage”.
The sharp division of opinion on the referendum has caused some people to call for its suspension or total withdrawal, however, Mr Ndebugri, who is a former Member of Parliament for Zebilla, explained to Valentina Ofori-Afriyie on Class91.3FM’s 505 news programme on Tuesday, 26 November 2019 that: “It is untoward because you cannot, just because you think that you are about to be defeated, then you retract and abort the process. So, there is no law allowing him [President Akufo-Addo] to abort the process; the process must go on”.
Asked by the host if the Electoral Commission (EC), the election management body, could pull the plugs on the referendum, the lawyer responded: “No! The Electoral Commission cannot stop the process; nobody can stop the process”.
Apart from that, the EC, Mr Ndebugri noted, has already printed the notice of polls, noting that arrangements for it are far advanced, so, “the election is due to be held and should be held”.
Forty per cent of the electorate must turn up to vote in the referendum and 75% per cent of them must vote “YES” in order for the motion to be upheld.
“It is too late”, Mr Ndebugri observed, adding that those advocating an annulment of the referendum “are acting out of absolute ignorance”.