The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has blamed the low turnout recorded at the just ended district level elections on the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) intensified ‘NO’ campaign for the botched December 17 referendum.
According to NPP party, the interest amongst electorates to participate in the exercise was fast developing until the NDC announced its decision not to back the referendum.
Yaw Buaben Asamoa , Communications Director of the NPP, while responding to NDC flagbearer, John Mahama’s claim that the low turnout recorded in the District Assembly election was an indication that the canceled December 17 referendum was bound to fail, said the NDC must take full responsibility for the low turnout.
“We believe that it is because the NDC broke the consensus that is why interest in the election plummeted. There was interest being generated heavily, we were moving on the basis of consensus, because as the president said, this had nothing to do with NDC or NPP but out of ill-faith the NDC chose to turn it into a partisan process and turned round and broke the consensus that we had engineered,” Yaw Buaben Asamoa said in interview.
The district-level election was held on December 17 across the country in all electoral areas.
While the election was generally peaceful, many polling stations recorded very low turnout compared to previous years of the election.
The December 17 election was to be held alongside a referendum on whether or not political parties must be allowed to actively participate by sponsoring candidates to stand as Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
However , President Akufo-Addo in a televised address called for the withdrawal of the two Bills in parliament and directed the cancellation of the December 17 referendum to amend Article 55(3) which was to allow political parties to file candidates for district-level elections.
His decision was after some stakeholders, particularly the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) started advocating for a ‘NO’ vote in the referendum arguing that it was only worried that an amendment to Article 55 (3) will open district assemblies and unit committees to “the needless NDC-NPP polarisation.”
The stance of the NDC caught on with many Ghanaians who expressed concern about the move.