NPP was not forthright with stakeholders on referendum – Nii Lante Vanderpuye

Nii Lante Vanderpuye, a former Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has advocated for the bill that will allow Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to be elected, brought back to Parliament for consideration.

According to him, that bill could be considered and a decision taken on it while future plans are made about the proposal for the elections at the district level to involve political parties.

Nii Lante Vanderpuye insisted that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was not forthright with stakeholders, especially political parties at the onset of discussions on the proposed constitutional amendments regarding the election of MMDCEs.

“The election of MMDCEs is necessary and can address the teething challenges at the local governance level without the processes necessarily being championed by political parties, the disadvantages of overtly politicising local governance outweighs advantages, our party’s position was, after our consultations, we support and assist amendment of Article 243(1) and other consequential amendment but we do not support and assist politicisation of local governance.

“The government is being disingenuous in the way it handled the issue, the government can close the chapter on referendum and still let us discuss the issue of Article 243(1) problem, it solves the winner takes all mantra, the government must allow the citizenry opportunity to elect MMDCEs as it promised in its manifesto and put issue of politicisation of local government aside,” Nii Lante Vanderpuye stressed.

Gary Nimako, a member of the legal team of the NPP, said there was no way the government could proceed with application for amendment of the two Articles due to inability to reach consensus especially with National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He indicated that the government had from beginning emphasised election of MMDCEs was directly tied to allowing partisan politics at local level, and does not see the government making another attempt at realising the bills through parliament at least until after 2020.

“We didn’t have a bipartisan consensus on the matter because if NDC, a major opposition party decides they will not come with you along the chain, to make sure that you bring it to fruition, it will be political suicide to proceed on tangent to go and do it since the two amendments were double-barreled gun, it is now off the front burner,” Mr Nimako intimated.

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