Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama says the government is committed to making the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and Chief Executives possible for citizens.
She said the move would deepen decentralisation and the local governance in the country.
“It is worth stressing that the election of political leaders at the local government level is considered an international best practice adopted by many countries aimed at deepening local democracy through popular participation in governance,” she observed.
[contextly_sidebar id=”F9KaKbX95OmlmeMrDVVSlVf5W90Hck7U”]Hajia Alima Mahama gave the assurance in an address to participants at the sixth in the series of regional consultative workshops on the proposed election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in Sunyani.
The programme was to afford participants the opportunity to deliberate on the proposed amendments to the nation’s decentralisation concept to replace the current arrangement where the President nominates MMDCEs and approved by their Assemblies as well as share experiences on the idea.
She mentioned Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and the Gambia as countries where MMDCEs are elected, adding that several other nations globally are implementing the initiative as a way of deepening decentralisation in decision making and development.
“Election of MMDCEs would entrench Ghana’s democratic credentials as it would make MMDCEs more responsive and directly accountable to the people and guarantee the security of tenure of the MMDCEs,” she emphasised.
Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, O.B Amoah said the process leading to the election of MMDCEs had been categorised into three phases.
They are Pre-referendum, Referendum and Post-referendum activities and suggested the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to pave the way for political parties to participate in the election of MMDCEs.
He further added other laws and Acts of Parliament would also have to be amended to provide a comprehensive legal basis for the intended changes to the local governance process.
Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, in his welcome address charged participants to share experiences and ideas to support said the vision of President’s vision of enhancing the local governance and decentralisation concept.
He, therefore, called for co-operation and commitment from stakeholders to make the election of MMDCEs a reality.
Governance expert, Dr Eric Oduro Osae and Gabriel Daare of the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy took turns to school participants on the country’s decentralisation concepts and emerging issues.
Participants in a Citi News interview at the end of the programme, overwhelmingly endorsed the proposal, saying, it would enhance grassroots participation in decision making, deepen the country’s democracy and promote accountability by duty bearers.