MFWA: Restore processes of amending Article 243

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has called on the government to restore the processes of amending Article 243(1) to grant the citizenry the power to elect their own Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

It described the president’s withdrawal of the amendment processes of Article 243(1) as “unfortunate” considering that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) while in opposition promised to amend the article. 

“We think the government must again sponsor Article 243(1) for Parliament to approve it and grant power to the citizenry to choose their own Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives,” the foundation stressed.

Sulemana Braimah, the Executive Director of MFWA, noted that however, the question of whether to allow political party participation at the local government level dominated major discussions with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaigning for a ‘no’ vote.

Adding his voice to people who were disappointed and dismayed by the president halting the processes, Mr Braimah challenged the president to bring back the procedures of amending Article 243(1) “if he is dedicated, determined and committed to giving power to the citizenry as he promised.

“What the ordinary people want is the power to determine who becomes their MMDCEs and to grant that power, does not require a referendum, it is just parliamentary processes,” he intimated.

President Akufo-Addo announced the withdrawal of the December 17, 2019 referendum, to allow time for further consultation with key stakeholders and the public and indicated that it was with deep regrets that he had given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama to spearhead the processes on behalf of the government.

It was with commendable vigour and dynamism to abort the processes and seek the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the constitution both in respect of Article 243(1) and Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution which the referendum sought to amend the law to enable MMDCEs and unit committee members to be elected along political party bases. 

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