Mr. Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute, indicated that the move would add to Ghana’s enviable democratic credentials as a beacon of democracy and peace in Africa.
Mr Jonah was contributing to a day’s sensitisation workshop to elicit views on the election of MMDCEs in Ghana held in the Central Regional Capital, Cape Coast, on Tuesday.
According to him, it will also would endear citizens participation in local governance to accelerate the pace of inclusive governance to engender socio-economic growth and political development and expressed optimism that such an election will effectively reduce the often whimsical and capricious dismissal of MMDCEs for frivolous reasons.
The MMDCEs would have the free hand and be more accountable to the urgent needs of their people and ensure security of tenure. They will no longer be working at the pleasure of the President who often dismissed them with frivolous and baseless issues.
On role of key implementing partners, the Local Government Expert called for unalloyed support by all stakeholders to make the Government’s vision a success.
He underlined the significant role of key actors such as the Council of State, Attorney General’s Department, Judiciary, Cabinet and the sector ministry to keenly monitor the processes and urged Parliament to hasten the processes when the Bill finally gets to Parliament for the election to be conducted within the stipulated time in September 2019 to guarantee its success.
However, during an open forum, most of the participants declared their support for the election of MMDCEs but cautioned the Government to seek more consensus building and awareness creation to better inform the citizenry on the need to elect MMDCEs.
They also stressed the need for Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to collaborate effectively with the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to scale up mass education and involvement.
Others also expressed fear of sabotage especially where an elected leader belonged to an opposition party which did not believe in the ideology, philosophy and governance style of a government coupled with the partisan nature of politics in the country lately.
Additionally, they argued that the referendum and subsequent elections were mere waste of limited public resources that could be channelled into funding free education and other social service to ameliorate the plight of Ghanaians.
In response to their questions, Hajia Alima Mahama, the sector Minister for MLGRD and the Deputy, Mr O.B Amoah, took turns to address the views and questions of the participants to assuage their aforementioned fears and assured that their views were duly recognised and appreciated.