Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso
Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso

The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) has said it supports the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to whip up public enthusiasm and increased participation in the upcoming local level elections.

Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso
Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso

It said CLGA is in the position that in order to give true meaning to Article 35(6d) of the 1992 constitution which states that ?the State shall take appropriate measures to make democracy a reality by decentralizing the administrative and financial machinery of government to the regions and districts by affording all possible opportunities to the people to participate in decision-making at every level of national life and in government?.

A statement signed by Dr Vladimir Antwi Danso, Executive Director of CLGA on Monday and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said: ?the CLGA has followed with keen interest the dwindling nature of citizens? participation in all six local level elections in Ghana since 1988/89 compared to other national level elections.?

It said efforts must be made to promote voter participation in all local level elections and that by this participation in decision making and participatory democracy will be enhanced.

The statement said current efforts by the NCCE to use jingles and songs as well as that of the MLGRD to set up an inter-agency committee to whip up enthusiasm in the upcoming local level elections are commendable.

It however said all the above efforts will not yield the needed results unless the current voter turnout gap in Ghana?s local level elections which stands at less than 30% is increased.

The statement noted that to increase voter turnout for local elections to the level of other national elections, the CLGA proposes that Government should declare the upcoming local election government day, a Public holiday to show national commitment to deepening local democracy.

It said CLGA strongly believe that by the above, voter turnout for the elections will increase in addition to creating opportunity for every qualified voter to exercise their franchise in choosing local leaders.

?The CLGA is of the view that once the day is declared a holiday, voter turnout will increase, thereby deepening local democracy along the same lines as national democracy which the nation prides itself so much with.

?Declaring March 3rd as public holiday for Ghana?s upcoming local level elections is one obvious way of showing national commitment to deepening decentralization, local democracy and popular participation in governance?.



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