Monday, 06 July

Dec. referendum: Educate voters – IDEG

General News

A Senior Research fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr Kwasi Jonah has called for intensive education with a focus on women in order to whip up interest in the upcoming December 2019 constitutional referendum.

Dr Jonah's call follows a 2019 Afrobarometer report which indicates that only seven per cent of Ghanaians are aware of the upcoming referendum.

A referendum is scheduled to be held on 17 December 2019 alongside district level elections.

The proposed amendments to the constitution would allow political parties to be involved in local elections and the direct election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

According to the 2019 Afrobarometer report, 42 per cent of Ghanaians are unaware of the referendum, 51 per cent not bothered while seven per cent are fully aware of the process.

The report also revealed that more males are aware of the referendum than females with more members of the Peoples’ National Convention (PNC) likely to vote followed by the NDC.

Also, people in rural areas are more aware of the referendum.

Speaking at the launch of the 2019 Afrobarometer report in Accra on Tuesday, 11 November 2019, the senior research fellow called for an increased awareness campaign with a specific focus on women in order to whip up interest in the upcoming referendum and also to ensure its success.

Dr Jonah revealed that the implication if the findings are true is that: “The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, The National Commission for Civic Education, the electoral commission and those of us in civil society organisation have not done a good job of awareness creation about this referendum, we haven’t done a good job at all if it is true that awareness is that low.”

He, however, called for education on the upcoming referendum to be intensified targeting women.

“With only 35 days to the referendum, I think education should be intensified targetting especially women since only 32 per cent of them are aware.  People in the informal sector these are the people with the lowest educational attainment, only 35 per cent are aware, the urban population only 45 per cent of them are aware, the younger population 40 to 43 per cent of them are aware.”