The Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, has dragged the government to court over the continuous stay of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in office eight months after a new administration came into office.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo has no constitutional mandate to direct MMDCEs to remain in office in acting capacity.
The President, in January 2021 after he was sworn in to serve a second presidential term, directed all MMDCEs to remain at post until new ones are appointed.
According to the communiqué signed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare, announcing the directive, the MMDCEs were against taking any policy-related decisions.
“You are to take note of the provision of section 14 (5) of the Presidential (Transition) Act (2012) which states that you shall not take a decision involving a policy issue,” the notice said.
Dafeamekpor, who filed the suit as a private citizen of Ghana, among other things wants a “declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 243(1), the President of the Republic of Ghana cannot direct, instruct or appoint any person to either act or hold office as a Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive without the prior approval of the Members of the District Assembly to which the said person would be acting or holding office as a Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive.”
He also wants the court to order the acting MMDCEs to immediately vacate their post.
“An order directed to all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives continuing in office pursuant to the above-mentioned Presidential directive to vacate office with immediate effect.”
Debates have started in the political arena over the delay in the appointment of substantive MMDCEs.
The Ranking Member of the Local Government Committee of Parliament, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, earlier this week said President Akufo-Addo must as a matter of urgency publish the list of the appointed Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
Speaking on the Eyewitness News, Nii Lante Vanderpuye said, “the constitution says that the President in exercising his discretionary powers cannot wait in perpetuity till he finds it convenient to appoint the MMDCEs. Local governance is a critical aspect of our national development.”
The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana on the other hand said there is no cause for alarm. The Presidency has said the delay is not affecting development at the local government level as some have suggested.