Three political parties in the country have said that the government’s decision to come out with a road map leading to the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) deserved praise.
Commending the government for the progress of work done to ensure that the election of MMDCEs, the three parties also expressed satisfaction at the various steps taken by the government, so far, to allow political parties to have a say in the district level elections.
The parties are the National Democratic Party (NDP), the United People’s Party (UPP), and the Great Consolidation Popular Party (GCPP).
Speaking to the Daily Graphic separately in an interview, the NDP, the UPP and the GCPP, all said, for instance, efforts by the government to push for the approval of a bill to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution was a step in the right direction towards the election of MMDCEs.
Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched provision, 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 the district assemblies or lower local government units”
At a press conference in Accra last week Wednesday, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, revealed that the road map for the election of MMDCEs was progressing steadily.
She said the government was awaiting Parliament to approve a bill to amend the Article 55 (3) of the Constitution after which other processes, including a national referendum would be held.
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According to Hajia Mahama, a national campaign strategy had been developed to facilitate a successful national referendum, which would be conducted alongside the District Level Elections, in December 2019.
“The road map on the election of MMDCE has been designed to be implemented in four phases: Pre-referendum phase, post referendum phase, change management and capacity building phase. The Electoral Commission has set December 10, for the referendum”, she stated.
The General Secretary of the NDP, Mr Mohammed Frimpong, said the party was happy that political parties were not kept in the dark regarding the entire process to elect the MMDCEs.
He said involving the political parties at the early stages of the working documents that would pave way for the election of MMDCES was the right decision made by the government.
"The manner and way the government is going about the election of MMDCEs, no party will have the excuse to blame the government for anything because they have been allowed to participate in the process," Mr Frimpong said.
He, however, expressed the hope that the election of MMDCEs would go a long way to enhance the country’s democracy and at the same time involve the people at the district level in their development agenda.
The Founder and leader of UPP, Mr Akwasi Addai Odike, said the party had always shown great support to see the election of MMDCEs, and that the UPP had been a strong advocate for it to be included in the country’s Constitution.
He said the party was not only satisfied with the progress of work done by the government but also content with the level of commitment and attention given to the entire process.
"The UPP applauds the government because it has so far shown that it was not paying a lip service when it comes to the election of MMDCEs," Mr Odike said.
He said the election of MMDCEs would help shape Ghana’s electoral process and also help address a number of development issues, including corruption.
The Vice Chairman of the GCPP, Mr John Amekah, also shared the same view that the government had done well in its quest to ensure the election of MMDCEs.
He said the announcement of the date for the referendum was a sign that more was being done to ensure the fruition of the project.
Mr Amekah said GCPP was ready and willing to give its support and assistance to the government any day and urged all parties to rally behind the government in its bid to include the election of MMDCEs into Ghana’s constitution.
“This is good for Ghana’s democracy because once people have a say in the election of MMDCEs, they will know that their communities’ development is in their own hands,” he added.