The millions of Ghanaians eagerly waiting to elect their Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), could be disappointed because this may not happen, at least not within 24 months as the New Patriotic Party administration promised.
This is because the procedures involved in making such positions electable have not yet been triggered.
NPP manifesto promise
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) in its 2016 manifesto promised to “oversee the direct election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) within 24 months of election into office, to coincide with the next District Assembly elections in 2019.”
But it seems the promise might not be achieved as promised.
According to a Local Government Minister, O.B Amoah, for the MMDCE elections to be possible, there is a need for a referendum to be held or Article 55 (3) of the Constitution amended to make the position a partisan one.
MMDCEs election won’t be in 2018
O.B Amoah, while speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, on Monday, stated emphatically that, the election of MMDCEs will certainly not take place in 2018.
“It is not 2018; I don’t know why this thing keeps coming up and indeed if we want to go the full hog and make the election partisan, it means we should even do a referendum to amend article 55 (3) so that we can get MMDCEs elected on multi-party basis. So we are working towards that, but certainly it is not 2018.”
“The next assembly election is September 2019, and we should be able to work towards that date. Most probably, by September 2019, we can let the referendum coincide with the assembly election so that by that time Ghanaians are voting for their assembly members, they will also be deciding that after 2019 MMDCEs should be elected on multi-party basis,” he added.
Article 55 (3) of Ghana’s constitution states that:
Subject to the provisions of this article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character, and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than to District Assemblies or lower local government units.
The issue of election of MMDCEs had in time past taken centre stage in major discussions in the country with some Ghanaians demanding for it.
We are on course
The Deputy Minister also noted that, the Local Government Ministry is holding series of meetings with the various stakeholders to make MMDCEs position electable.
“We are very much on course. We did one stakeholders meeting with IDEC, we are in collaboration with the political science departments to do other programmes. We are sure that by the end of the year 2017, we would have carried out some of these stakeholder programmes,” he added.
It could also mean that, the promise may not be fulfilled even within the first term of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.