‘Partisan election of MMDCEs will promote transparency, accountability’

Hajia Alima Mahama, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development has urged Ghanaians to stop the pretence that district level election is non-partisan and support the proposal for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to promote greater transparency and accountability.
According to her, the election of MMDCEs is an international best practice to deepen local participation of grassroots in the governance landscape as practiced in South Africa, Uganda, Gambia, Kenya, among others.
Hajia Mahama explained that the election would ensure that political parties became openly involved to galvanise local party support to whip up enthusiasm and participation of the public during the polls.
She was interacting with participants at the Central Regional sensitisation workshop on ‘the election of MMDCEs and the benefits thereafter in Ghana’ held in Cape Coast to build consensus on how to deepen local democracy.
It also sensitised key stakeholders on their required roles in the upcoming referendum to amend the Constitution for the MMDCEs.
The workshop was organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in collaboration with the Office of the President on the theme: ‘Electing MMDCEs for improved local democracy and good governance.’
Hajia Mahama observed that the election of MMDCEs on partisan lines would increase voter turn-out during local elections which hovered around 30 per cent whiles attracting the best of brains to represent their respective parties and districts.
“It will significantly give the elected MMDCEs a security of tenure and effectively reduce the rancour and acrimony that often characterised the relations between Members of Parliament and MMDCEs across the country.
“The election is essential to break the back of the winner-takes-all syndrome in Ghanaian politics which allows party winning elections to appoint people to occupy all the positions,” she stressed.
The minister commended the President for initiating the process that would lead to the election of over 200 MMDCEs as part of his commitment to achieve his government’s manifesto pledge.
Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Central Regional Minister, described the President’s view to elect MMDCEs on partisan as a critical component to deepening Ghana’s democratic credentials to foster growth.
He called for the support of all stakeholders and interest groups to marshal all their arsenals and resources to make the President’s initiative a success. – GNA

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