A former Mayor of Kumasi, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, is in support of proposals for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the country.
Currently, the President nominates all MMDCEs for confirmation by their assemblies.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently reiterated his commitment to ensuring that MMDCEs are elected along partisan lines.
But speaking on Citi TV’s Parliamentary news magazine programme, The Chamber, the former Member of Parliament (MP) for the Asokwa constituency in the Ashanti Region and a starwart of the NPP, agreed with the election of MMDCEs as practiced in some advanced countries.
He holds the view that, this is the only way, “we can say we are practising democracy. We are not totally democratic as of now. Mayors must be elected by the people they are going to serve.”
“MMDCEs should be elected in our bid to have a good meaning for our democracy. Our democracy should not end at the national level. It should translate down to the households.”
He however, does not subscribe to the elections being on a partisan basis.
“I sincerely believe that we should leave the partisan at the National level.”
He argues that there isn’t sufficient understanding of political systems in Ghana, especially at the lower level.
In 2019, the Akufo-Addo administration initiated moves to democratize the selection of leaders at the local government level with a proposal for the amendment of Article 243 (1) and a further amendment to Article 55 (3) of the Constitution, to enable political parties to participate in local level elections.
But the plan hit a dead end following a lack of bipartisan backing for the referendum to amend Article 55 (3), pushing the President to withdraw these reforms.
Although the 1992 Constitution, in Article 55 (3), gives the mandate for the organisation of political party elections, it excluded the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
Article 55(3) 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 elections to any public office other than to District Assemblies or lower local government units”.