Assembly election would be partisan—Akufo-Addo

nanaThe New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer for Election 2016, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given a strong indication that under his Presidency, District Chief Executives, Assembly and Unit Committee Members would be elected on the tickets of political parties.

“In my view, political parties must be free to openly sponsor candidates for District Assembly elections. Also, District Chief Executives, or Mayors, must be directly elected,” he stressed.

This, he explained would deepen participatory democracy at the local level, a move from non-partisan elections to fully-elected local government administration, which would be fully accountable to the people.

He made this known when he addressed a selected audience about his transformational vision for Ghana, at the Chatham House, the esteemed Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, on Wednesday.

Nana Akufo-Addo spoke on the theme: “Developing Ghana: Policies for Prosperity” made this known before an audience of business leaders, diplomats, foreign relations and development experts, political and social commentators.

He argued that the situation where DCEs are accountable to the President, (the appointing authority) rather than the people at the local level was an anomaly which should be addressed.

He described the current local government system as a major challenge to the quality of local governance.

Nana Akufo-Addo stressed that he has been consistent with this vision, because he truly believed it was the only path way to Ghana’s prosperity.

He concluded the 90-minute interaction by answering a question on what makes him think he could be the third time lucky, stressing, “my own sense is that the Ghanaian people have come to trust me.”

Nana Akufo-Addo traced Ghana’s development and democratic journey to date and said that the “values and principles of democratic engagement continue to deepen in the country”.

But he was quick to point out that the next critical task is how the programmes, players and institutions of the country could be harnessed to “raise rapidly, the quality of life of our people.”

He stated that there are structural imbalances between Parliament and the Presidency, stressing: “The performance of the legislature has not been spectacular,” and, blamed on the constitution “makes the legislature second to the executive,” saying, the imbalance has to be addressed consensually and constitutionally.

He reiterated the need to strengthen the institutions which underpin our democracy, especially the executive, legislature and judiciary, to ensure that each plays its respective role in building a strong democratic culture which ensures accountability, effective separation of powers, and guarantees respect for the rule of law.

“As a rule,” he said, “Ghana’s judiciary is considered one of the most independent in Africa. But, a lot more needs to be done in terms of resources, to strengthen its capacity and also the calibre of the people there,” emphasised Nana Akufo-Addo.

He again called for fundamental reforms of the nation’s electoral system, to restore public confidence in it. for him, if trust in the system is to be restored, then the problems with the voter register should be addressed, head on.

By Times Reporter

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