The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), is not enthused about the current mode of selecting Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCE) in the country and should be reversed to deepen democracy at the local level of governance.
It stated that the basis for selecting MMDCE nominees was superficial and discriminatory, a flawed system and breached fundamentally by the mode and criteria on which they were nominated.
“Look at the mode and criteria with which MMDCEs are nominated which includes standing relationship with the party, whether made some contributions to winning elections, mobilising people and competence,” the institute lamented.
Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of IDEG, observed that the person the president would appoint must have the capacity to govern, likability in relation to traditional authorities and ethnic groups andtrue identity of any democracy was citizenship which comes first and was basis for dealing with equality.
He thus reiterated the need for various political parties to build consensus on viable ways of reforming local governance system to tackle flaws associated with selecting MMDCEs since the nation was in historic situation where the two main political parties, New Patriotic Party ([NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) wanted to reform local government.
According to Dr Akwetey, that kind of reform in a democratic system required durable consensus built between the two parties and suggested reforms in confirmation of MMDCE nominees weeks after being nominated by President Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo.
“Consensus buildingis also key to deciphering the way forward on election of MMDCEs when in September 2019, the president commenced processes to amend Article 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution, which gives him power to appoint all MMDCEs,” he said.
A referendum was also lined up to seek support of the citizenry to amend Article 55(3) of the Constitution, which bans political parties from participating in local level elections and makes such elections bipartisan however, in December 2019, the referendum was suspended due to perceived lack of national consensus on the issue.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice then withdrew the Constitution Amendment Bills 2018 meant to amend Articles 55(3) and 243(1), from Parliament but recent Centre for Democratic Development -Ghana Local Government Survey indicated 76 percent of citizens are in favour of election of MMDCEs. –citinewsroom.com