The issue of direct election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) has popped up again with the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) calling on Parliament to reignite conversation on the matter.
Led by its President, Bismark Basie Nkum, NALAG said there was the need for the issue to be revisited for the required action to be taken since Ghana was lagging behind among its peers on the African continent.
The direct election of MMDCEs policy, which requires a constitutional referendum to allow political party activity in district-level elections, was killed after conversations around it degenerated into partisanship.
It was a campaign promise of President Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2016 general election.
The referendum was scheduled to be held on December 17, 2019, alongside district level elections, and the proposed amendments to the constitution would have allowed for the direct election of MMDCEs and allowed political parties to be involved in local elections.
Speaking to Citi FM yesterday, NALAG Mr. Nkum demanded for Parliament to rekindle the debate on the subject, asserting that the direct election of the MMDCEs “is not about the interest of the political parties, but about the interest of the entire country.”
He reiterated that Ghana had fallen behind among its peers on the continent and indicated that “within the continent, others who copied the democratic practices from Ghana have gone ahead of us, and I always cite Sierra Leone as an example.”
Mr. Kumi continued, “They copied our local government system and they have gone ahead such that their mayors are elected by their localities. They are not appointed by the President.”
According to him, in Sierra Leone for example, the Mayor of Freetown belongs to the opposition party in the country yet they have found a way to co-exist, and questioned why the same thing could not be done in Ghana.
By Ernest Kofi Adu