The 2016 presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), has urged the ruling New patriotic Party not to wait till 2021 to commence the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Ghana.
Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom believes the exercise can be sped up if the government really wants to pursue it if it wants real development both at the rural and urban areas.
Addressing a news conference in Accra on Wednesday, April 25, Dr Nduom, an advocate of the election of the MMDCEs, noted Ghanaians were promised the election of local authorities hence the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, should not relent on getting it done.
He said: “…If he wants development to happen quickly then the election of MMDCEs must become one of his top priority items. Article 55 section (3 ) must not be used as a delay tactic as many people are afraid of now.
“the election of MMDCEs will be a powerful positive game changer of Ghana’s development,” he added.
Dr Nduom’s reaction follows the announcement made by the Local Government Minister Hajia Alima Mahama, that the Attorney General’s Department will draft a bill that will be forwarded to Cabinet and then to Parliament which will eventually be gazetted for six months before a referendum takes place sometime next year, during the district assembly elections.
Critics have described the announcement which was reiterated by the Minister as another failed campaign promise. some have also said the delay in rolling out the policy exposes NPP’s campaign lies which won them the 2016 elections.
But Dr Nduom, who is pushing for the election of the MMDCEs assured that the PPP “shall continue to promote the election of MMDCEs as the most important governance reform needed for Ghana’s democratic and economic reform and demand that it is made a top priority in the nation’s governance agenda.”
2021 Grace Period Apt
Meanwhile, a local governance expert, George Kyei Baffor has backed government’s decision to fix the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives into office by 2021.
According to him, the space will offer government ample time to prepare adequately for the exercise that has been hailed by many.
“…By 2021 by which time all MMDCEs who are in place now might have served all their four year term, the new MMDCEs [can] be elected,” he told Kofi Oppong Asamoah on XYZ News Wire.
The local governance expert said more time is needed for education and the necessary legal frameworks to amend the constitution.
He believes the government cannot avoid the processes that will enhance the rolling out of the policy because “the timelines have been given.”
“The process has been activated.It’s in motion and I believe that they [the NPP government] can never under any circumstance do a u-turn once the process has been activated,” said Mr Kyei Baffour.