Chairman of the National Committee of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has called on the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to, as a matter of urgency, implement its manifesto promise of ensuring that municipal metropolitan and district chief executives (MMDCEs) are elected by 2019.
Dr Nduom, who was the PPP’s 2016 presidential candidate, insisted that the election of MMDCEs should be now and not 2021 as government has proposed for its implementation.
Addressing the media yesterday at the Ghana International Press Centre in Accra, the PPP stalwart noted that the speedy development of the country was tied to the elections of MMDCEs.
According to him, Articles 242 and 243 as enshrined in the 1992 Republican Constitution of Ghana should not be used as an excuse to delay the processes to elect MMDCEs across all the 254 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
These Articles and its clauses, the 2016 PPP presidential candidate explained, were not entrenched ones that could not be amended by Parliament.
“Even for those which are entrenched in the constitution, it would just require a referendum which government seeks to do in the matter of the creation of additional regions.
“If the process of creating additional regions is being one under such urgency, and all importance is given to it what stops government from doing same in the case of the elections of MMDCEs”? he asked.
According to him, it was emphatically stated in the 2016 manifesto of the NPP to elect MMDCEs, 24 months into their administration if Ghanaians gave them their mandate.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his address to the current crop of MMDCEs assured the nation that “the election would take place as promised, insisting that the people he was talking to [MMDCEs] will be the last batch of MMDCEs to be appointed. What has changed now? Not too long after that, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, O.B. Amoah, gave reasons why Ghanaians must not expect the election of MMDCEs in 2018 or 2019, contrary to what the President said,” he opined.
He further noted that not too long ago the same deputy minister for local government at a forum came up with a timetable, which suggested that government would be electing MMDCEs in 2021. “Why do we keep on postponing the implementation of this lofty idea?” he quizzed.
Dr Ndoum, however, cautioned that the election of MMDCEs should not be an issue of NPP and National Democratic Congress (NDC), but should be a “pressing national issue, which needs a holistic national approach to address it”.
He, therefore, called on the government through the minister for local government and rural development to organise a national forum for all the political parties, religious and traditional leaders, and civil society organisations (CSOs) to address the issue.
Meanwhile, Dr Ndoum has hinted that the issue of the election of MMDCEs will be a key campaign issue in 2020.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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