Involvement of citizenry, key in election of MMDCEs

Participants at the Regional Sensitization and Awareness workshop on the elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCES), have stated that the decision will help in opening up the political arena and deepen decision-making at the local level.
They noted that their elections is a popular and good decision, would also help in controlling the “winner takes all” idea and ensure that knowledgeable candidates were elected for the position.
However, it was realized that subjecting the local governance to partisan politics would create a situation where the opposition party might try to undermine the officeholders.
“We support the election of MMDCEs but believe that good leadership is key to drive the resources at the local level and enhance development.
“The idea should not just satisfy a manifesto promise but an attempt to build consensus and grassroots participation,” they stressed.
The workshop, organized by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRDA) was to solicit stakeholders’ views on the need to revise the Constitution to pave way for MMDCEs to be elected.
Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, noted that the cooperation of all political parties was key to ensure the successes of the campaigns for the election of MMDCEs.
She recalled that the recent Afrobarometer survey reported that 70 percent of Ghanaians desired the elections of MMDCEs, as contained in the Constitutional Review report.
The report by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) stated that “since the introduction of the 1992 Constitution, there have been incessant calls for a change in the manner of appointing MMDCEs in accordance with the new democratic dispensation.”
Hajia Mahama pointed out that the NPP government made it a manifesto promise to meet the democratic deficit, deepen local democracy and bring good governance to the door steps of Ghanaians.
She explained that the President in his State of the Nation Address in February, this year, maintained that depending on a successful outcome of a referendum, the current set of MMDCEs would be the last batch of Chief Executives to be appointed under the current system.
Hajia Mahama indicated that the process would be subjected to a universal adult suffrage through a referendum to amend the entrenched provision in Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution which was in line with international best practices. -GNA

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