Ghanaians are reasonably anxious as they await President Nana Akufo-Addo’s address to the nation on the December 17 referendum, later this evening.
The address has been scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and will be carried live on Joy News TV and other major TV stations.
The referendum seeks to, among other things, amend Article 55, Clause 3 of the 1992 Constitution to enable political parties to participate in district-level elections.
Article 55 (3), is an entrenched clause, which currently bans political party activity in district-level elections, It requires a referendum and a turnout of at least 40% and over 75% voters in favour of the proposal, to amend the Article.
The referendum has sharply divided the country with the Ghaha Catholic Bishops’ Conference calling for a postponement.
Vice-President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), Most Rev. Charles Palmer-Buckle, has said given the current poisoned political environment there was a need to postpone the December 17 referendum.
“We the Bishops are appealing to the Government and the Electoral Commission to postpone the Referendum since it would not cause any Constitutional crisis,” Archbishop Palmer-Buckle said at the Jubilee House recently.
There is also a sharp division in legal opinion regarding the President’s ability to postpone or call off the entire referendum.
It is not clear what the President will tell Ghanaians, but speculations are that the President is likely to announce a postponement of the exercise.