Mr. Kwesi Jonah, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Democratic Governance has asked Parliament to pass Article 243 in time to allow for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
He said adequate consultations and political consensus had been reached and urged the House to do the needful in time.
Mr. Jonah was speaking at a training seminar for selected journalists on the constitutional, regulatory and political processes of the December 7th, 2019 referendum and District Level Elections at Nyanyano in the Central region.
The seminar was organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) with funding from Star Ghana Foundation on the theme, “Enhanced Media-CSO Partnership for Inclusive Local Governance.”
Mr. Jonah said consultations by Civil Society Organizations were going on well and what was needed was aggressive media campaign for a successful referendum on December 7th to allow or disallow the participation of political parties in District Level Elections (DLE).
He said allowing political parties to participate in local governance and election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives was international best practice and urged Ghanaians to vote “yes” in the referendum to allow political parties to participate actively in the DLE.
Mr. Jonah said the country had every good reason to vote “yes” because it would change the political dynamics of the country, reduce national election tension and ensure speedy fixing of sanitation, health and water challenges at the local levels.
Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development said he would be “highly disappointed” if Parliament failed to pass Article 243.
He said the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress promised election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in their 2016 manifestos and that they ought to commit to the process.
Dr. Oduro Osae said the burden had been shifted from the executive to the legislature and he expected them to deliver.
He explained that the election of MMDCEs would be like mid-term assessment for governments and would bring the country in line with other democracies using the system to fast track development at the local level.
Dr. Oduro Osae said it would bring innovation in the delivery of services in sanitation, water and health and ensure inclusiveness, taking away, winner takes all.
He said it would fully democratise local government, give total power to the people, grow smaller political parties and also avert a situation of a two party system.
Dr. Oduro Osae said a “no” vote would still give power to the President to “rob” citizens of power to elect their leaders locally and demand accountability.
Mr Roland Affail Monney, GJA President, charged media practitioners to double their efforts to ensure a 40 per cent turnout and over 75 per cent “yes” vote for the December 7th referendum.
Mr Kojo Impraim, Programmes Manager, GJA/Star Ghana Project, said the knowledge management session would create a platform for purposeful collaboration between journalists and Star Ghana grant partners to promote inclusive local governance.