Government has announced the roadmap on elections of MMDCEs across the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the country as part of efforts aimed at deepening the democratic process of the country.
Addressing the Meet the Press Series in Accra, the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama said the amendment Bill of Article 243 (1) on appointment of MMDCEs has been approved by Cabinet, Gazetted, laid in Parliament and has been referred to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament.
The Minister added that a National Campaign Strategy has been developed to facilitate a successful national referendum, which will be conducted alongside the District Level Elections, in December 2019.
“A Bill to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to pave way for the participation of political parties in district-level elections, was approved by Cabinet, forwarded to Mr Speaker, then to the Council of State for advice, was published in the Gazette, matured on 24th May, and laid in Parliament for first reading on 28th May, 2019”, she said.
Hajia Alima Mahama disclosed that her Ministry as part of the process has conducted a series of stakeholders’ sensitization and consultations in all regions. According to the Minister, some of the groups met were: the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Electoral Commission (EC), National House of Chiefs, Political Parties, Christian Council, Federation of Muslim Councils in Ghana and Professional and Civil Society groups.
“The roadmap on the election of MMDCE has been designed to be implemented in four (4) phases: Pre-Referendum Phase, Referendum Phase, Post Referendum Phase, Change Management and Capacity Building Phase”, she stated.
Ghana has implemented the current decentralisation and local government system since 1988. Though significant progress has been made, there are a few grey areas that require improvement for participatory governance and local democracy to be deepened. One of such grey areas is the need to popularly elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on a partisan basis to be in tandem with the mode of electing national level leaders.