A group calling itself the Civil Society Organisations Coalition on the National Referendum and Election of MMDCEs (CSO-CoNaFEM), has urged Parliament to expedite actions to amend Article 243 (1) of the constitution which seeks to have Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chiefs (MMDCEs) elected on partisan basis.
The bill, which seeks to amend an article of the constitution, if passed, will make it constitutional to have MMDCES elected on partisan basis.
A statement released by the group encouraged both the Majority and Minority not to waste time and agree on a bi-partisan approach to amend the bill to consolidate the country’s democratic credentials and appealed to parliament to expedite actions to amend Article 243 (1) of the constitution.
“CSO-CoNaFEM is calling on both political parties to ensure a bi-partisan consensus to amend this provision to get MMDCEs elected in order to improve local democracy and popular participation in governance at the local level.
“The proposal to give power to the citizenry to elect their own chief executives is long overdue, electing of MMDCEs is key to improving grassroots democracy, ensuring popular participation and improving accountability, probity and transparency, and governance at the local level.
“In past elections, almost every political party promises to ensure MMDCEs are popularly elected, the time is now, the coalition urges our parliamentarians, both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to put the national interest ahead of all other considerations.
“And to fulfil the wishes of the citizenry by voting overwhelmingly in favour of the amendment, we believe this will be the beginning of democratic synergy between the mode of electing national and local leaders,” the release said.
Government has stated that its commitment to see to a constitutional election of MMDCEs was on course, it has indicated that the Electoral Commission (EC) has set December 10, 2019, for a referendum for the polls, and that the road map for the development of the different phases of the election of MMDCEs was being worked on. -citinewsroom.com