Withdrawing MMDCEs election bill not abandoning of manifesto promise – NPP

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has dismissed claims that the withdrawal of the bill for the election of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) from Parliament is an abandonment of its campaign promise.

A section of the citizenry have criticised the move to withdraw bills seeking to amend Articles 243(1) and 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution from Parliament, alleging that the decision was politically motivated.

Dismissing the claim, the government indicated that it has introduced the bill to Parliament and gazette, referring it to Council of State for advice, Electoral Commission was in process of organizing the referendum and misconception and misinformation into system.

It pointed out that heightened tension increased in the system, having listened to the citizenry the president called it off and it cannot be interpreted to mean NPP has not fulfilled that promise, any fair observer will admit, honest enough to understand circumstances led to halt of proceedings.

Pius Hadzide, a Deputy Minister of Information, said there was enough evidence the government was committed to the cause, had it not been betrayal of key stakeholders who left majority of the citizenry in state of confusion.

“The process was started, people were brought on board for one reason or the other but people decided to make a U-turn, NPP initiated moves to actualise and implement our manifesto promise, although the processes have been put on hold, the government is still committed to rallying introduction of party politics at local government level which will realise election of MMDCEs.

“It will come back with proposal after thorough scrutiny and better citizenry sensitization, education and awareness on issue, the president remains committed to manifesto promise, we may do it under different context, and we know with time, we will have opportunity to better educate the citizenry on merits of solutions offered.

“We hope within time, the citizenry will understand, be carried along, at anytime within the president’s tenure, when convinced consensus has been generated, they have understanding, the processes will be reactivated, relevant laws amended to allow for election of MMDCEs and the local government structures with political party participation,” Mr Hadzide assured.

The referendum was to decide on amendment of Article 55(3) of the1992 Constitution to enable political parties to sponsor candidates for local level elections while amendment of Article 243(1) was to allow for election of MMDCEs.

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