The Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) has commended President Akufo-Addo-led government for the bold decision to amend some provisions in the 1992 Constitution to allow political parties to participate in district level elections and governance processes.
The Party said this would fulfill the constitutional obligation of reinforcing multiparty democracy in the country.
Mr John Kwadzo Amekah, the 2012 and 2016 Vice Presidential Candidate of the GCPP, gave the commendation in an interview with the GNA in Accra.
He said over the years, successive governments have paid lip service to the call for the involvement of political parties in the district level governance adding that Government’s decision was in tandem with the Constitution.
The Government, in February 2019, laid a Bill before Parliament seeking to amend the 1992 Constitution for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs).
The articles identified for amendment are Article 243(1) on the appointment of MMDCEs by the President and Article 55(3), which prohibits the involvement of political parties in district level elections.
Mr Amekah, also a former Deputy-General Secretary of the defunct Democratic Freedom Party, urged traditional authorities and civil society organisations to support the national referendum in September, this year.
He appealed to the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry that would put up constitutional instruments and legislations after the election of people to the assemblies to avoid laws that would create a lopsided playing field to cripple those elected.
He was of the belief that those who would be elected would put up their best performances to enable them to be re-elected, which would ultimately accelerate socio-economic development at the local level.
Mr Amekah applauded government’s social intervention programmes and cited the Free Senior High School policy, saying that it has reduced financial burden on parents because in the past they struggled to find money to pay their children’s school fees, especially at the secondary level and called for its sustenance.
He said the recent celebration of the 62nd Independence Day parade at Tamale on March 6, somehow deepened the peace in the Dagbon traditional area after successful resolution of the age-long chieftaincy dispute and bridged the gap existing between the northerners and the southerners.
Commenting on the prevailing discussions on political vigilantism, Mr Amekah called on government to give free hands to the Police to operate so that those involved in the act would be arrested, prosecuted and possibly jailed when found guilty.
“This is the only way the government can be exonerated or otherwise other people will engage in political vigilantism to paint the government black,” he added.
On the roadmap to the district level election, the Government has stated that the election process would be in three phases: Pre-referendum activities, referendum activities, post-referendum activities and the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution.
For instance, the pre-referendum processes would include the formation of an election committee to review the legislation and prepare background document.
Consequently, there would be regional consultations and sensitisation programmes to raise public awareness and prepare for the referendum in September.