Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has reiterated government’s resolve to deepen decentralisation pursuant to the will of the citizenry, and further improve transparency and accountability at the local level.
Citing the Afro Barometer report, she noted that, “the survey reveals 70 per cent of the citizenry desire to have a voice in choosing their Metropolitan Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), favouring their election rather than appointed ones which is strong across regions, demographic groups, and major political parties,” she noted.
Hajia Alima Mahama was interacting with members of the Federation of Muslim Councils (FMC) as part of a sensitisation programme for stakeholders and pledged their support to the processes leading to the election of MMDCEs in 2021.
She explained that in order to achieve the election of MMDCEs, it was necessary to review Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution, which prohibited the voting of MMDCEs on partisan basis adding that the bill to amend the law had passed through the constitutional stages and published in November.
“The bill will have to be in the public domain for six months, by May 2019, it will be passed by Parliament since Article 55(3) is not an entrenched clause, there will have to be a referendum which will require a turnout of 40 per cent of registered voters and 70 per cent of the valid votes which will take place in September, 2019 in conjunction with the District Assembly elections.
“Other laws will be reviewed and the election of MMDCEs on partisan basis will take place in 2021 as stipulated by the constitution that district assembly elections should be six months apart since government’s interest is adequately represented in the districts,” Hajia Alima Mahama stressed.
Alhaji Alhassan Abdulai, Public Relations Officer for the Federation, pledged the support of the council in ensuring the realisation of the processes and disclosed that a committee would be set up to train Muslims of all sects to sensitise them on the need to offer support to the processes.