Hajia Alima Mahama
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama has observed that allowing citizens to elect their leaders at the local level in Ghana was long overdue.
According to her, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has developed a roadmap to guide the process and activities leading to the election of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on non-partisan basis.
The Minister was addressing MMDCEs and their Coordinating Directors at a sensitization workshop in Ho recently.
The event which brought together participants from the 25 Municipal and District Assemblies in the region was under the theme “Electing MMDCEs for Improved Local Democracy and Good Governance.”
Hajia Alima said the main objective of the national consultation is to sensitize participants on the functions, roles, and responsibilities of MMDCEs, the reason for which they ought to be elected on non-partisan basis, and what is expected of them in the upcoming referendum.
She added that the current mode of appointing MMDCEs has not provided the accountability that the people yearn for.
Madam Alima noted that key among the laws to be reviewed is Article 55 (3) of the1992 constitution which limits the election of MMDCEs on partisan basis.
“To amend this article requires a national referendum because the article is an entrenched one”.
She stated that the election of the MMDCEs will promote accountability and citizen’s participation in electing their representatives.
“It will reduce the winner takes all syndrome, ensure security of tenor, and will make MMDCEs more responsible,” she added.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa reaffirmed the government’s commitment in strengthening the capacities of MMDCEs through the ballot box.
He said it gives the opportunity to the people to decide who is competent enough to represent them at the local governance level.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February this year, proposed that a referendum for the election of MMDCEs should take place concurrently with the District Assembly Elections next year.
The President said this when he delivered the State of the Nation Address to Parliament in Accra early this year.
This is in fulfillment of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s 2016 Election Manifesto promise to Ghanaians that when elected, it will commit itself to the election of MMDCEs as a step to deepening the country’s democracy and ensuring improved accountability.
From Collins Anku, Ho (firstname.lastname@example.org