The Ghana Association of Assembly members has called on the government to bring back proposals for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
According to the group, the election of MMDCEs will reduce the agitations by the governing party’s members who disagree with the president over his choice of nominees.
Speaking to Citi News, a spokesperson of the Association, Mawuli Vorsah, said the current process of selecting MMDCEs is not consultative enough.
“The nomination of the MMDCEs must not necessarily be witnessing this kind of chaos. The association of Assembly Members is highly disappointed in the way the whole appointments have been handled. The appointment process was not consultative enough to cater for these clashes we are witnessing. The authorities are to blame for what is happening right now.”
The Akufo-Addo administration had initiated moves to democratize the selection of leaders at the local government level.
There was 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 president withdrew these reforms after a lack of bipartisan backing for the referendum to amend Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution.
No reason was given for not moving forward with the amendment to Article 243 (1).
Mawuli Vorsah maintained that discussions for the election of MMDCEs must be revived to aid development at the local level.
“Regarding the election of MMDCEs, we believe that this particular window is long overdue. We should have been practising that long ago. That is the only way the people can really know those who are going to man the assemblies. If you look at the vetting processes, all were based on what they have done in the political party. Going forward, we want to say that whoever is nominated should come to vetting at the District Assembly.”
Meanwhile, the Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, Dan Botwe has justified the nomination of MMDCEs on partisan lines.
Mr. Botwe on Citi TV’s Point of View argued that just as it is the practice for Members of Parliament and Ministers of State to engage in active politics while serving in their roles, MMDCEs should also be at liberty to do same.
“If something is being put in place to make sure at the end of the day we will put in place a machinery that will make us win 2024 election, we can’t shy away from it. Nothing stops a Minister from doing his official functions and also performing his party functions.”
“Members of Parliament go and take part in our party functions. We do that and there is nothing wrong with that. In choosing people at the DCE level, they are performing their functions as stipulated in the constitution but again, they represent the face of the central government which is headed by the President who is an NPP member and was chosen by NPP manifesto,” Dan Botwe explained.