The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has backed the calling for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and called on Ghanaians to fully participate in the upcoming referendum in order to achieve overall success.
However, it also called for a number of amendments to the 1992 Constitution to enable Ghanaians to reap the full benefits of participatory democracy and also take an active part in the development of their communities.
The First Vice Chairman of the PPP, Mr William Doworkpor, said this at a press conference on Monday in Accra in which he also proposed the amendments to all related legislation and policies to be addressed concurrently.
” Government needs to ensure that Article 55 (3) is not only amended to have the election of MMDCEs on a partisan basis, which standing on its own, is too limited but the whole gamut of related Acts and policies set to be affected as a consequence of the amendment,” he said.
William Doworkpor said the party believed that the proposed amendments to all related legislation and policies must be put on the table now, in a comprehensive way, to ensure that Ghanaians know exactly what will be the outcome as expected of the whole process after voting YES.
“We cannot have a partisan election of MMDCEs and the assemblymen and women elected by universal adult suffrage and allow any President to appoint not more than 30 percent of all the members of the district assembly,” Mr. Doworkpor claimed.
He further explained that the power of the President to appoint 30 percent of the assembly members of the old order was undemocratic, arguing that it would be a “constitutional and democratic sacrilege to allow any President to have opportunity to dilute the members of an elected assembly,”
“We are on the side of the people and the choices of the people must remain supreme. Article 242 (d) must be amended as well,” he added.
The party also proposed an upward review of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) from the current five percent of the national revenue to 10 percent with a formula approved by Parliament, guided by strict anti-corruption sanction.
“This is one of the surest ways to ensure that the people have control of the development agenda of their local areas based on their established priorities. Electing MMDCEs without giving them the needed funds to operate with will create disaffection at the local level and undermine the democratic agenda,” he stated.
The First vice-chairman further recommended the appointment of the administrator of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) should not be partisan and the selection process should be conducted by the Public Service Commission through public advertisement.
Ghana will on December 17, this year, head to the polls to vote on a referendum to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to allow for the election of MMDCE. There will be the election of members of the district assemblies and unit committees.
Source: Eric Nii Sackey