President Akufo-Addo could risk an impeachment inquiry in any other jurisdiction for his decision to call off the December 17 Referendum, Inusah Abdulai Fuseini has indicated
According to the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, the decision to withdraw the upcoming referendum does not lie in the power of the President.
The comments of the NDC legislator comes barely 24 hours after President Akufo-Addo, in a televised address to the Nation, announced the withdrawal of the Referendum which seeks to allow political parties to participate in elections at the district level.
According to the President, the decision is to allow time for further consultations with key stakeholders and the public on the matter.
“It is with deep regrets that I have given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development who will spear this process on behalf of government with commendable vigour and dynamism to abort the process and seek the withdrawal of the Bills for the amendment of the constitution both in respect of Article 243(1) and Article 55(3),” he stated.
But adding his voice to the chain of reactions on the development, the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central accused President Akufo-Addo of trying to subvert the will of the people.
“What the president has done is to subvert the will of the people and in other jurisdictions, he would have been preferred for Impeachment,” he said in an interview on Accra based Joy News.
Explaining the rationale for his accusation, Inusah Fuseini argued that the decision to hold a referendum is an entrenched final stage of any constitutional amendment which by all means need to be opened for public consensus and therefore cannot be touched as an when the President wills.
“This is not simple legislation, this is a constitutional amendment, the constitution is the basic law of the country, that is why the amendment procedures are different. The first which will not deter the foundation of this country allows for simple majority in parliament, the second which requires bi-partisan consensus in parliament allows for two thirds majority, the third which says this is beyond parliament so the people must signify their intent to agree to an amendment or not and that is a referendum and that is what we normally say entrenched, we don’t think that those provisions should be easily amended” he explained.
According to him, “no referendum is based on consensus”, rubbishing the President’s explanation on the need to build a consensus before the process can be resuscitated.
Another group, who have been vibrant in discussions on the controversial referendum is the Chamber of Local Government.
Reacting to the withdrawal, President of the Chamber, Dr. Richard Fiadomor, in an interview with Accra based Starr FM, stated that the Government has done a poor job in terms of consultation towards the exercise.
“We are even at a loss why they are now talking about broad consultation. This government has been in office for three years, it even took this year for them to send the bill to Parliament so didn’t they know that if you want to do a referendum it has to be preceded by public education? he asked.
Meanwhile, the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has hinted that the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo is preparing to appear before Parliament over matters relating to the referendum.