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Election of MMDCEs Slated for September 2019

Jan. 21, 2019


 

Election of MMDCEs Slated for September 2019

Professional bodies at a sensitization, consultation and awareness creation raising meeting, held at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), Madina, Accra, have unanimously expressed their support for the election of MMDCEs on partisan basis.

Addressing the group of Professional bodies, Hajia Alima Mahama (MP), said that government had taken a firm decision get MMDCEs elected by the year 2011. In so doing it was pertinent that her Ministry which had been mandated to implement the policy get the buy-in of the citizenry to ensure that Ghanaians support the initiative and vote massively in favour of electing MMDCEs on a partisan basis.

She said Article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution of Ghana, prohibits partisan elections of MMDCEs at the local level and therefore there was the need to amend Article 55(3) as it was an entrenched clause. To amend this clause it had to go through a referendum the Minister explained.

Taking the Professional group through the processes leading to the referendum, she explained that a new draft bill had been written by the Office of the Attorney General and sent via a memorandum to Cabinet which had also been approved and consequently sent through the Speaker of Parliament to the Council of State for advice.

Presently, she said the Speaker of Parliament had sent the bill to the Office of the Attorney General and been gazetted. She further explained that a period of six months will have to elapse before the Electoral Commission (EC) could organize the referendum in September 2019.

Hajia Alima Mahama (MP) further explained that the objective of the meeting with the Professional bodies was to solicit their views, buy-in and to educate them on the government policy. She posited that if they were well informed they will in turn convey the message to their members.

She said already the Ministry had met with Traditional Authorities, Political Parties, The Media, Security Agencies, Civil Society Organizations and a host of others.

 

Even though collectively the professional bodies expressed their solidarity for the initiative, they expressed some concerns. Amongst those expressed was the need for government to fiscally decentralize. The Minister agreed to this point but further stressed that the districts should work hard at Internal Generated Funds instead of depending on the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).

Another issue was on the qualification of prospective DCEs. After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that it should be the responsibility of the Political Parties to field competent and qualified candidates for the position.

The concern that those who won will unduly skew public funds for the development of their strongholds in order to win votes was dismissed. Instead Hajia Alima Mahama posited that those who won the elections will be motivated to spread the Common Fund equitably in their districts for development in order win the sympathy of the opposing electorate.

There were concerns raised about whether government could foot the bill of organizing the referendum. It was explained that the EC had budgeted for it.

The Amongst those Professional bodies present were, the Institute of Chartered Accounts, Institute of Internal Auditors, Chartered Institute of Procurement and Suppliers, Ghana Registered Nurse Association, National Association of Graduate Teachers, Ghana Association of Human Resource Development, the Ghana National Association of Teachers and the Ghana Chamber of Local Governance.




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