Election of MMDCEs will deepen grassroot democracy—Atsu Ayee

Prof. Ayee

Prof. Ayee

A Senior Research Fellow of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) Professor Joseph Atsu Ayee has said the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) is a good course in deepening the country’s democratic system at the local level.

He said although, the Article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution prohibits political parties participation in local governance elections, there is no doubt political parties sponsor their party members at the district assembly elections.

Article 55 (3) of the 1992 elections states that “ a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than to district assemblies or lower local government units”.

Speaking at a day’s workshop on “retreat on local governance reform” in Accra, organised by IDEG, Professor Ayee said this would ensure the inclusion of political parties in pursuing the country’s developmental agenda and dismantle the winner-takes-all in Ghanaian politics.

He noted that the introduction of multi-party election at the local governance election would increase voter’s turnout since voter’s turnout in local governance elections continues to fall as compared to national elections.

“Averagely, national elections turnout is 80 per cent whilst local governance elections is 36per cent, national elections are well patronised because the party mobilise voters to go and vote.

“So if we have multi party elections at the local governance level turnout would be higher because parties would go and mobilise,” he stressed.

Professor Ayee was confident that the introduction of local governance elections would promote development at the local level since political parties would be more interested in the local areas.
He added that the winner-take-all syndrome would be reduced as well since political parties who do not win the national elections would have the opportunity to win at the district level.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama noted that government is on the process of drawing the roadmap to fulfill its promise of organising elections at the local governance level to ensure government follows the legal procedure for successful implementation.

The Executive Director of IDEG, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey noted that resources in the country are not responding to the needs of the people due to weak developmental governance capacity hence, the need to embrace elections at the local system.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN & PORTIA TWENEWAA-KARIKARI 

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