General News of Monday, 23 January 2017
Local Government and Rural Development Minister-designate Hajia Alima Mahama, has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government stands by its promise to get Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) elected.
The NPP, led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, ahead of last year’s presidential and parliamentary polls – which the NPP won – promised that chief executives would be elected under an NPP government.
Speaking during her vetting on Monday January 23, Hajia Mahama said: “We are committed to our manifesto promise of electing MMDCEs, we are committed to the process. Definitely it involves a lot of processes and we specifically stated that we would elect MMDCEs within a two-year framework and we are committed to the process.”
She added: “The Constitutional Review Commission was not entirely against this process; it provided that there should be direct election for the metropolitan assemblies and a different kind for municipal, whereas for the district assembly the status should remain. That was the recommendation, so it is not entirely against it. So we’re proposing that we should elect district chief executives – I believe that it is in tune with the constitutional provision.
“If you look at the directive principle of state policy, Article 35, it says that we should ensure that democracy becomes a reality by decentralising political administration and financial resources and ensuring that every citizen feels part of the decision making in every aspect of national life and I believe that if we elect district assemblies it’s one way of accountability. We will get them to be accountable to the citizens.
“For instance, parliament’s role is actually legislation but we all want to do development programmes in our constituencies because at the constituency level, people are looking for development. Therefore, if we have a DCE who is supporting development in the constituency and accountable to the people, I think that is the best way to go for it.”