The President of the Chamber of Local Governance, Dr. Richard Fiadomor, has reignited discussions on the need to elect Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) by advocating for increased autonomy to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of various assemblies.
Dr. Fiadomor contends that the interference of the government and political figures in the election and removal processes of MMDCEs renders elections unnecessary.
In an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Citi FM, Dr Fiadomor emphasized the need for assemblies to function independently for a successful governance system.
He explained that “assembly members and unit committee members are supposed to be elected and they are the ones that eventually end up endorsing the president’s nominees, so it is expected that they would have ended up doing an independent and true endorsement without political involvement, but that is not the issue here.”
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.
However, 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 the reforms.
Although the 1992 Constitution, in Article 55(3), gives the mandate for the organisation of political party elections, it excludes 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.”
Dr. Fiadomor also bemoaned what he said is the blatant exclusion of citizens in the local governance consultative structure.
“We are serious stakeholders and it is just unfortunate that many of the assemblies do not engage with citizens. You have a role to play but the assemblies don’t allow us to play that role.”
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