Election of MMDCEs to coincide with district level

The Electoral Commission (EC) will conduct the district level elections for assembly members together with the referendum on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the last quarter of this year.

This will be the latest step to oversee the direct election of MMDCEs within 24 months of election into office, to coincide with the district assembly elections in 2019.

The government had earlier said it expected the referendum to be concluded by September 2019 and the commission is thus expected to undertake a limited voter registration exercise in May.

The exercise will take place in all district offices of the commission, per outcomes of an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held on Wednesday.

In a press release signed by the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, it said it would publish a time table and the roadmap for the district level elections in a week’s time.

The government in February 2019 laid the bill to amend the constitution to allow for the election of MMDCEs.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had earlier presented the bill on the amendment of some articles in the 1992 constitution in October 2018.

The articles slated for amendment are Article 243 (1) on the appointment of MMDCEs by the President and Article 55 (3), which prohibits the involvement of political parties in district level elections.

On the roadmap for the election, the government had indicated that the election process would be in three phases that is pre-referendum activities, referendum activities, post-referendum activities and the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution.

The pre-referendum processes consist of the formation of an election committee, which was established in 2017, and the review of legislation and preparation of background document.

The regional consultations and sensitisation to raise and prepare for the referendum had also been conducted and per Article 290 (4), at least 40 per cent of the citizenry are expected to vote at the referendum with 75 per cent of them backing the bill to be passed by parliament and assented to by the president.

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