General News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017
The government will initiate the legislative process to allow for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs), the Minister designate for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, has said.
Answering questions before the Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday, she said in the short term, the election of MMDCEs would be on non-partisan basis.
That would happen after the amendment of Article 243, which empowered the President to appoint MMDCEs, she said.
Hajia Alima said in the long term, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo wanted the election of MMDCEs to be on partisan basis.
She noted that Article 55(3) on the election of MMDCEs was an entrenched provision in the 1992 Constitution and, therefore, the government would go to the people to seek their views as to whether they wanted the election of MMDCEs to be on partisan basis or not.
She said if the people so wished, a referendum would be conducted to do away with the entrenched clause.
Hajia Alima said the election of the MMDCEs was a campaign promise of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the government was committed to fulfilling.
She said she would initiate the process for the election of MMDCEs as soon as her nomination was approved by Parliament.
Election supported by CRC
Hajia Alima denied a suggestion by the Minority Leader and Ranking Member of the Appointments Committee to the effect that the Constitutional Review Commission’s (CRC’s) recommendations were against the election of MMDCEs.
She said the CRC was not entirely against the election of MMDCEs.
She said the election of MMDCEs was consistent with the Directive Principles of State Policy, which required the citizens to participate in development efforts at the local governance system.
Besides, she said, the election of MMDCEs would make them support development so they would be accountable to the people.
Hajia Alima said her ministry would ensure the supervision and tracking of expenditure of MMDCEs.
Besides, she said, she would take action on areas of concern relative to MMDCEs in the Auditor-General’s reports.
Discipline is key
She pledged to promote discipline by promoting the enforcement of bye-laws and regulations.
She said where sanctions should be in place, actions would be taken.