First public engagement on election of MMDCEs

BY: Caroline Boateng
Deputy Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr O. B. Amoah
Deputy Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr O. B. Amoah

The Deputy Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Mr O. B. Amoah, has expressed satisfaction with the first public engagement on the amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution to pave the way for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Cheif Executives (MMDCEs).

The first engagement came off in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region.The second will be in Ho, the capital of the Volta Region, this week.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Amoah expressed satisfaction with the patronage and feedback.

“The responses were positive and showed that the election of MMDCEs is the way to go,” he told the Daily Graphic.

 The Ministry, last month started a nationwide sensitisation exercise on the amendment of Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.


Article 53 (3) states that, “Subject to the provisions of this article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character and sponsor candidates for election to any public office other than to district assemblies or lower local government unit.”

Many have seen the provision as limited to the opening up of the district level for political contest, although political parties overtly breach this provision.

Being an entrenched provision, the section would need a referendum to amend and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his Independence Day speech on March 6, 2018, said for cost-effectiveness, the referendum for the amendment of the provision should be held concurrently with the election of assembly members in 2019.

Sensitisation

Mr Amoah, said the only issue that came up was how MMDCEs would be chosen for the election.

He indicated that party activists who participated in the maiden engagement wondered whether it would be the sole prerogative of political parties to choose candidates.

Mr Amoah gave an assurance that all the thorny issues would be dialogued on as the national sensitisation moved to other regions.

The engagement would involve putting the issues before Ghanaians and engaging them on the provision to be amended.

Processes

Mr Amoah added that while the President had given his commitment to the election of MMDCEs, he was also keen on letting Ghanaians have their say.

He said for the President, deepening democracy entailed the election of MMDCEs at the local level to make them accountable to the people.