Assembly members in Sunyani and Techiman municipalities have lauded the proposed election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and called on Parliament to speed up its legislative processes.
They noted that the election of MMDCEs would deepen accountability, strengthen local governance, reduce corruption and prohibit the involvement of political parties in district level elections.
The assembly members observed that the constitutional provision that gave the president the power to nominate MMDCEs for assemblies to approve them were not the best, and since they were appointed by the president, the view that they were only accountable to the government discouraged the citizenry’s active participation in local governance.
They urged Parliament to be diligent in the constitutional amendment processes to provide the best remedy for the nation.
The assembly members lauded the proposal in separate interviews on the sidelines of a Ghana Journalists Association (GJA)-STAR-Ghana local governance project to enhance Media-Civil Society Organisation (CSO) partnerships towards inclusive local governance.
Under the project, the association in partnership with civil society actors will carry out integrated set of interventions in order to foster, strengthen collaboration between the two institutions, contribute towards improving citizenry’s access to information on public policy-making and implementation.
The government has laid a bill before the House for consideration and possibly, amendment of Article 243 (1) on the appointment of MMDCEs by the president and Article 55 (3), in fulfilment of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Election 2016 manifesto to oversee direct election of MMDCEs.
Daniel Debrah, the assembly member for Hansua electoral area in the Techiman municipality, noted that, “We have practised this for a long time but you can see the assemblies are not doing anything new or making any significant achievement”.
Evans Kyere, the assembly member for Aheneboboano electoral area in the Sunyani municipality, observed that election of MMDCEs would inculcate ownership into the minds of the citizenry to contribute towards decision making processes, enhance the decentralisation concept, tackle development shortfalls in proactive manner and not over-rely on the government in addressing development needs of the citizenry.
Yaw Osei, the assembly member for Akoraa-Kwadjo electoral area in the Sunyani municipality, stressed that, “MMDCEs must understand they are serving the citizenry and not the president, and this can happen if they are allowed to elect them, which is the best alternative”. –GNA