What is happening on 17 th December, 2019?
The Electoral Commission of Ghana will be organizing District Assembly Elections,
Unit Committee Elections, and a Referendum.
Within what time frame will the elections take place?
It shall start at 7a.m. and close at 5p.m. on Tuesday, 17 th December, 2019.
A Special Voting exercise will be held on Tuesday, 10 th December, 2019 for
Security Personnel and a few other officials who by virtue of working outside their
polling stations on the Election Day 17 th December, 2019, would like to grab the
opportunity to vote earlier.
Please take note of the fact that all those participating in the Special Voting
exercise will vote on the Referendum only.
What is the Referendum about?
The referendum is in fulfillment of the 1992 Constitutional requirement for the
electorate to approve or reject a question as to whether Article 55(3) should be
rejected or approved by the electorate.
What does Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana say?
Article 55(3), which is an entrenched clause of the 1992 Constitution, prohibits
District Level Elections to be organized by the Electoral Commission on partisan
basis. That is, presently, the constitution prohibits political parties from
sponsoring a candidate, the use of existing political party symbols, and canvassing
for votes on the platform of a political party on District Level Elections. The 2019
District Level Elections, which comes off on 17 th December, 2019, will follow the
format as just described above, that is, no partisan interference.
What is an entrenched clause?
An entrenched clause is one that is protected by the constitution and cannot be
amended, except the electorates approve so by a general vote of registered
What is the process of approval by the electorates?
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana stipulates that 40 percent of
registered and qualified voters turn-out to vote, and 70 percent of the votes cast
be in favour of the question put by the constitution.
Apart from Article 55(3), does the Constitution allow for any other
Articles to be amended?
Yes, a few other Articles are eligible for amendment, but the most important one
for the moment is Article 243(1).
What does Article 243(1) say?
It gives the mandate to a sitting President to appoint a Metropolitan, a Municipal
and a District Chief Executive.
So how will Article 243(1) be amended?
Article 243(1)) is not an entrenched clause. Thus, it will be amended in Parliament
to enable the election of MMDCEs on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage. This
means that both articles of the 1992 Constitution, when amended, will allow for
candidates standing for District Level Elections to be sponsored by political
parties. Please, take note also of the following: the referendum is not an election
of MMDCEs as people are saying. It is to approve or reject the provision on
whether MMDCEs are to be voted for or not.
So when will the bills be ready for Amendment?
Both bills have gone through the mandatory 6 months of gazette and will be
amended before the ending of the year 2019.
So when can candidates be sponsored by political parties, use
party symbols, and stand and be voted for on partisan lines?
This will take effect in 2021.
What happens if the electorates do not approve the proposed
amendment of Article 55(3)?
It only means that Ghana will continue to vote on non-partisan basis when District
Level Elections are organized by the Electoral Commission.
What about if Parliament approves the amendment of Article
It will mean that any President will not be able to appoint MMDCEs anymore.
What will be the effect, if votes cast are in favour for the
amendment of Article 55(3)?
The effect will be that District Level Elections will, as a result, be conducted on
partisan or political party lines, permitting political parties to present candidates.
Candidates at the District Level Elections, as a result, shall use the name of a
political party, its motto, its slogan, or its symbol to canvas for votes and the
results announced in the name of the said political party. A political party is also
eligible to endorse or sponsor a candidate of preference. Political parties, as a
consequence shall canvass for votes. A political party is eligible to campaign for or
against any candidate presented to contest the elections.
An independent candidate is also eligible to stand for elections.