Christian Council of Ghana affirms support for election of MMDCEs on Partisan Basis
March 5, 2019
MLGRD5/3/19 Christian Council of Ghana affirms support for election of MMDCEs on Partisan Basis
The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) has made a firm commitment to support government policy of electing Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief executives (MMDCEs) on partisan basis.
The CCG further said the policy when fully implemented will promote democracy by affording local people the opportunity to choose their own leaders, giving meaning to popular participation to governance.
Accordingly, they have requested for publicity handouts that will provide information on the processes leading to the realization of the elections in 2021 and as well the objective of the policy. This they say will be distributed to the respective congregations of membership of the CCG.
The Council further said education on the matter must go to the doorstep of Ghanaians so that citizens will understand the whole process of the election as that will motivate them to participate in the processes leading to the elections.
These came up when the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Hajia Alima Mahama (MP) met with the executive of the CCG to interact and solicit views, as well as clarify contentious issues that may come up. The meeting took place at the Council’s Head office Osu, Accra.
Explaining the reason for the ongoing consultative meetings, she said it was meant to solicit views and clarify issues and in the process build consensus and support for the election of MMDCEs.
Speaking to the Council, Hajia Alima Mahama (MP) noted that, Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, prohibits the election of political parties on partisan basis and as such the article would have to be reviewed to pave way for elections on partisan basis. The Minister, however, noted that the amendment of the Article would require a national referendum, since it is an entrenched clause in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
She indicated that the election of MMDCEs will give representation to minority parties at the local level. This she said will break the “winner takes all syndrome” and give minorities a say in local governance.
She indicated that citizens at the local level vote for candidates contesting the Presidential and Parliamentary seats at the national level, and therefore could do same at the Local Level.
Enumerating the benefits of electing MMDCEs on partisan basis, she said security of tenure of MMDCEs will be assured, giving an increase in the turnout in district level elections and a significant reduction in ‘’exclusion’’ and ‘’winner takes all’’ syndrome; thus further consolidating local governance.
In response to a concern raised by Council members that MMDCEs elected in strong holds of the ruling government would pose a problem, she said they will be motivated to work harder in order to retain their seats instead of posing challenges to the government in power.
The Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Dr. Emmanuel Akartey, who was present at the meeting; shared a brochure prepared by IDEG on the election to members of CCG. He was hopeful that the brochure would promote public discussion on the matter and also urged the MLGRD to adopt the document as part of its sensitization materials.
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