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President succumbs to public pressure, aborts plans to hold December 17 referendum

President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo has in an emotional address to the country, succumbed to public pressure and aborted plans to hold the December 17 referendum which was to allow political party participation at the Assembly level. The President had been under intense pressure from party members and government officials to either withdraw the referendum or postpone it and engage in broader consultation with the opposition NDC and some CSO’s in the country who are busily campaigning against it.
“In these circumstances, I am convinced that it will not serve the public interest to go ahead with the holding of the referendum on the 17th December even though I believe that a strong campaign for a Yes vote would have succeeded,” the President said in the close to ten minute broadcast to the nation.
He also directed the Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama to withdraw the Bills seeking to amend the said articles from Parliament.
“It is with deep regret that I have given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development … to abort the process and see to the withdraw of the Bills for the amendment of the constitutions both in respect of Article 243 (1) and Article 55 (3).”
Government needed at least 40 percent of eligible voters turning out to vote and at least 75 percent voting in favour for its ‘Yes’ campaign to succeed.

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