The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Halima Mahama, has stated that election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly Executives (MMDCEs) will make them more accountable to the people.
She has, therefore, urged Ghanaians to support the process leading to the election of MMDCEs.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in Accra on Tuesday, the minister said she believes that electing executives into office would deepen the governance and democratic architecture of Ghana.
It is recalled that President Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated in his State of the Nation address on three occasions the government’s readiness to have MMDCEs elected on partisan basis.
For this to happen, Hajia Mahama said there was the need to amend article 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution before the referendum takes place.
The sector minister who is the Member of Parliament for Nalerigu/Gambaga Constituency stated that not only would constituents have a better functional relationship with their executives, but added that the election of MMDCEs would ensure security of office for the elected representatives.
More than that, the law maker said the elected representatives, whether they belong to the ruling government or the minority would serve the interest of their constituents, knowing that they would seek re-election after the expiration of the four year term of office.
She said preparations were far advanced, adding that the Electoral Commission had given the indication to hold the referendum on December 10, 2019 once the Constitutional Instrument (CI) which was laid before Parliament matures.
On Monday, when the issue of election came up during the Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament, the minority raised two issues-one relating to the straightforward amendment of article 243(3) of the 1992 Constitution and the need to hold the referendum first before any other process.
But Hajia Mahama insisted that amendment of article 243(1) which gives the president the authority to appoint MMDCs should be considered if the Ghana was committed to having MMDCEs elected.
The legislator said decentralisation was the bedrock of governance and that Uganda and South Africa who learned Ghana’s local government system now elects local council executives into office.
In Europe and other advanced democracies, the legislator noted that families move to councils and districts with good education policy, better housing and functional health systems.
The process of electing MMDCEs into office is a fulfillment of President Akufo-Addo’s 2016 promise to Ghanaians to have MMDCEs elected when given the mandate.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA