Allow Parliament to amend Article 243 – PPP

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has proposed Parliament should still be allowed to amend Articles 243(1), 243(3), 248 (1) (2) and 242(d) to establish the basis for the elections of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

It said the ability of the citizenry to exercise basic political rights in electing their own MMDCEs for local government decentralisation could not wait any longer because “the party was resolute and firm on the years the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar and the palmerworm at the MMDCEs must come to an end.”

This was contained in a press statement issued by Paa Kow Ackon, Communication Director of the PPP in Accra yesterday, following the suspension of the December 17, 2019, referendum by the president to allow broader national consensus.

“If we are interested in holding our leaders accountable in the generation and judicious use of our resources for rapid development at the local level, then we must all support the call by the PPP to change the constitution to enable the elections of all MMDCEs,” the statement said.

It questioned why “the president truncated a constitutional process by denying the citizenry an opportunity to determine how local administration should be established, if a few people decide to vote “no”, should that be misconstrued as disrespecting the President”, as suggested by Dan Botwe, Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development? Which referendum in the world has recorded a 100 per cent “yes” endorsement.

“Today, we are extremely disappointed and frustrated by the decision of President Nana Akufo-Addo to abort the processes and seek the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the 1992 Constitution both in respect of Article 243(1) and Article 55(3) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has failed on its campaign promise of bringing governance to the doorsteps of the citizenry.

“The government has reneged on overseeing the direct election MMDCEs within 24 months of election into office, to coincide with the next district assembly elections in 2019 as promised in their 2016 manifesto,” the statement said.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN                              

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