Participants at the Regional Sensitization and awareness workshop on the elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCES), say the decision would help in opening up the political arena and deepen decision-making particularly at the local level.
The participants noted that elections of MMDCEs was a popular and good decision, which would also help in controlling the “winner takes all” idea and ensure that knowledgeable candidates were elected for the position and the work at hand.
However, it was also realized that subjecting the local governance to partisan politics would create a situation where the opposition party might try to undermine the officeholders.
“We support the election of the MMDCEs, but, we also believe that good leadership is key to drive the resources at the local level and enhance development. The idea should not just satisfy a manifesto promise but an attempt to build consensus and grassroots participation,” they stressed.
The workshop, organized by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRDA) was to solicit stakeholders’ views on the need to revise the Constitution to pave way for MMDCEs to be elected.
The Minister for MLGRD, Hajia Alima Mahama, noted that the cooperation of all political parties was key to ensure the successes of the campaigns for the election of MMDCEs.
The Minister recalled that the recent Afrobarometer survey reported that 70 percent of Ghanaians desired the elections of MMDCEs, as was carried in the Constitutional review also.
The report by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) states that “since the introduction of the 1992 Constitution, there have been incessant calls for a change in the manner of appointing MMDCEs to accord with the new democratic dispensation”.
Hajia Mahama pointed out that the NPP government made it a manifesto promise to meet this democratic deficit, deepen local democracy and bring good governance to the door steps of Ghanaians.
She explained that the President in his State of Nations Address in February, this year, stated that depending on a successful outcome of a referendum, the current set of MMDCEs would be the last batch of Chief Executives to be appointed under the current system.
The process would be subjected to a universal adult suffrage through a referendum to amend the entrenched provision in Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution which was in line with international best practices.