Mr. Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), has called on political parties to build consensus on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
He said no political party controlled majority in Parliament hence the need for the parties to adopt a “national position” on the election of MMDCEs and work in the interest of democracy.
Mr Jonah said this at a sensitization workshop on the election of MMDCEs in Ho, under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The workshop, which was first held at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, attracted political parties, traditional and religious leaders, market women, driver unions and non-governmental organizations, and was on the theme, “Electing MMDCEs to improve local democracy and good governance”.
Mr Jonah asked the parties not to carry the polarization and division that the country was experiencing currently into the referendum because the election of MMDCEs was in the interest of all.
“The case for electing of MMDCEs is clear. All the parties are for it. It is time for us to feel that sense of oneness. It is not the idea of any single individual person. It is something we all want and must work in togetherness for,” he stated.
Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, said electing MMDCEs would deepen the local democracy by whipping up interest in local government and help the country to bridge the “governance gap”.
She said electing MMDCEs would also ensure the security of tenure of MMDCEs and reduced exclusion and winner takes all syndromes towards promoting national unity.
Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, a Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, said a referendum on electing of MMDCEs would be held in September 2019 alongside District Level Elections and called for support from all stakeholders.
He said the Ministry was consulting widely and working on the amendment of Political Parties Act, District Level Election Act and other articles in the 1992 Constitution for a smooth exercise.
The nationwide sensitization is to kick-start discussions on electing of MMDCEs on partisan basis.