President John Dramani Mahama has indicated that a system to elect metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) will be adopted if he wins the December 7 polls.
He stated: “We will also implement the Constitution Review Commission’s recommendation to have MMDCEs elected and we will promote performance-based competition among MMDAs – metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies.”
He disclosed this when he presented highlights of the 2016 manifesto of the NDC at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra on Tuesday September 13.
The president added that his government would also initiate “processes to implement the Constitution Review Commission’s recommendation to pay assembly members allowances”.
It will be recalled that a senior research fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Dr Ransford Gyampo, had proposed that presidents be not given the authority to appoint metropolitan, municipal, and district chief executives (MMDCEs).
He believed such officers should be elected into office so that persons, other than affiliates of the governing party, join in running the country.
“There should be direct elections of all MMDA members on a full-scale partisan basis in order to let the local people feel that: ‘We contested an election, we lost miserably, but we still have an opportunity to elect whoever will govern us at the grassroots,’” he admonished.
His suggestion was at a roundtable in Accra on Wednesday August 31, where he added that such a system would strengthen democracy as individuals would elect their own leaders at that level. He believed individuals from all political persuasions can be elected to public office and bring an end to the ‘winner takes all’ phenomenon.
“I think that will soothe the pain that [would have made] our politics do-or-die. … The feeling that you have lost everything at the national level and knowing that it’s the same at the local level will make politics a do-or-die affair,” he stressed.