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MMDCEs Election: No Fear of Sabotage – Alima Mahama

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“I don’t believe there would be a sabotage when a DCE is elected from an opposition party. I believe District Chief Executives from an opposition party will rather learn to lobby more and reach out to the Ministers and the ruling government to lobby to get resources to the districts.”

These were the words of the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, at a Sensitization Workshop on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal District Chief Executive’s (MMDCEs) in Accra yesterday.

Many are of the conviction that the election of MMDCE’s on partisan basis would bring about conflict and sabotage in the country.

Meanwhile, Hajia Mahama believes DCEs from opposition parties may end up losing funds such as the District Assembly Common Fund that comes to the district, if they end up sabotaging the ruling government.

“At the end of the day the DCE knows the only constitutional obligatory funding that comes to the district is the 5% (District Assembly Common Fund). So how about the other 95%, don’t they want it,” she quizzed.

Touching on government plans for Assembly members, she said all district levy elections will be partisan so assembly members will also have to campaign on a political platform to be elected if article 55 (3) is amended.

Article 55 (3) of the 1992 constitution prevents the election of local leaders on partisan basis.

According to Hajia Alima Mahama, “to amend this article requires a national referendum, the consultation and sensitization is to expose stakeholders to the functions and roles of the MMDCEs, what is expected of them in the upcoming referendum and the importance of having MMDCEs popularly elected on partisan basis.”

Background

MMDCE’s have since 1998 been appointed by the President and approved by the General Assembly.

The need for change in the mode of appointing MMDCEs was identified as a governance gap in our local governance system but the Constitution Review Commission report on the 1992 constitution, added a lot of weight to the need.

However, upon assumption of office and in fulfillment of the manifesto promise, government immediately initiated a process to ensure the necessary constitutional, legal, policy and institutional changes to ensure MMDCEs are elected on partisan basis.

The main objective of the national consultation is to sensitize key stakeholders on the function, roles and responsibilities of MMDCEs that warrants their election on partisan basis.

This is to also create awareness on the status, nature and firm of decentralization in the country.

By: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum

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