Prof. Ansu-Kyeremeh: Appoint 30% chiefs to assemblies

Professor Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, a former Director of the Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, has reiterated the need for 30 per cent representation of chiefs at the local assemblies to contribute their quota towards strengthening the local governance system.

He explained that “although the Local Government Act required chiefs to be consulted in the appointment of 30 per cent of people to the local assemblies, they have never been consulted”.

Prof Ansu-Kyeremeh observed that the outcome of the proposed amendment to some provisions in the constitution would enhance multi-party democracy because it was time chiefs were made to play prominent roles in the decentralisation process.

Speaking at the sidelines of a two-day retreat for traditional authorities organised by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), in Accra, he lamented that “despite traditional authorities being custodians of the land with enormous knowledge and competencies in local governance, they have been excluded from local governance system.

The event which was held on the theme, ‘Position and role of chiefs in a multiparty local governance system’, brought together traditional authorities across the country to brainstorm on ensuring inclusive governance at the local level.

The meeting was aimed at providing a platform for traditional authorities to contribute their views on the best way to enhance their participation in local governance and ensuring peaceful development.

The government, in February 2019, laid a bill before parliament seeking to amend the 1992 Constitution for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs).

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) noted that “the nation’s multi-party system is gradually becoming a two-party system dominated by the ruling New Patriotic Party and the opposition National Democratic Congress while the smaller political parties are no more represented in parliament”.

Dr Akwetey underscored the need for stakeholders who were not adequately represented in the local governance system to be included to contribute their quota towards ensuring accountability, transparency and socio-economic development.

Prof Joseph Ayee, a senior lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, in a presentation on ‘Amending Article 55(3) to reform the local governance reform: Progress and challenges’, observed that after 31 years of decentralisation, it was prudent to rectify challenges and consolidate gains made so far. –GNA

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