Prez calls for caution in debate over election of MMDCEs

President Mahama has indicated that if care is not taken the process of electing MMDCEs would be politicizedPresident Mahama has indicated that if care is not taken the process of electing MMDCEs would be politicizedPresident John Dramani Mahama has stated his support fot the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs).

He, however, indicated that if care was not taken, the process would be politicised and consequently defeat the purpose for which the local governance system was created.

He, therefore, suggested that the election of MMDCEs should be carried out on a step-by-step basis to avoid distracting the process.

President Mahama made the remarks yesterday after receiving a petition from the Coalition for the Election of DCEs (CED) at the Flagstaff House, Kanda in Accra.

The CED, which is advocating for the election of DCEs, came up with the petition after getting the signatures of 1,000 Ghanaians living in Ghana and abroad.

President Mahama said the question of electing MMDCEs was critical, as it formed part of the gamut of issues needed to improve the local governance system.

He said after the work of the Constitution Review Committee, the government issued a White Paper on the issue.

He said the first step was to go with the government’s position, which called for the selection of five persons who would be reduced to three after vetting by the Public Services Commission. The three people would then have to contest in an election for the position of MMDCE.

He said the next step should be to consider whether to allow individuals to go out there to campaign to be elected as MMDCEs.

The current procedure for the nomination of MMDCEs in Ghana starts with the nomination of the person by the President.

The nominee has to secure the approval of two-thirds of assembly members to be confirmed as an MMDCE.

Recently, there have been demonstrations against some of the President’s nominees for the position of MMDCEs in some parts of the country.

President Mahama said the current agitation against certain nominees seemed to suggest that the people wanted a greater say in who led them and noted that the government was ready to provide the platform for the people to have a greater say in who would represent them at the local level.

He commended members of the CED for their advocacy and said the government would look at their petition.

In his remarks, the Leader of the CED delegation, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, stressed the need for the people to be given the chance to elect their MMDCEs.

He said Ghanaians should be allowed to contest for the position of MMDCEs under the principle of universal adult suffrage, saying the election of MMDCEs was consistent with the provisions of the Constitution.

However, he said, governments over the years had demonstrated a lack of commitment to support the processes for the election of local chief executives.

Nii Brew-Hammond said it was important for Ghana to take a cue from Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda and other countries in Africa which allowed the people to elect their MMDCEs.

He, therefore, asked President Mahama to support the process of electing MMDCEs to serve as one of his legacies.

By Musah Yahaya Jafaru/Daily Graphic/Ghana

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