…….referendum to be held in September 2019.
A latest Afro barometer survey conducted by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) has revealed that seven out of every 10 Ghanaians want metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) elected as a way to make service delivery more efficient at that level.
The survey discloses that 69 percent of Ghanaians wants MMDCEs elected. Fifty one percent of respondents want the election to be non-partisan just like the election of Assembly members.
It also found that although Ghanaians believe they have the responsibility to demand accountability from elected leaders, these duty bearers do not listen to them.
The Constitutional Review Committee in 2012 recommended that majority of Ghanaians want their MMDCE’s elected and a white paper subsequently issued to that effect.
The election of MMDCEs featured prominently in the various campaigns of political parties in the 2016 elections. This followed surveys which suggested that election of the executives will deepen local democracy, make service delivery more efficiency and reduce corruption at the local level.
President Akufo-Addo in July, 2017 also stated that he will take steps to ensure that MMDCEs are elected.
The Local Government Ministry indicates, it has undertaken various activities to arrive at a referendum to achieve that aim.
Deputy Minister for local government, Mr. Osei Bonsu Amoah told Goldstreet Business, at the launch of the CDD Afro barometer that steps are already being taken to begin the process.
He noted: “As we speak, we’ve drawn a program to make sure every month we undertake an activity so that by the close of the year, we would have had a bill to be sent to parliament. We are following the constitutional requirement so that come September 2019 those who will vote in the District Assemblies elections, will also be voting for or against the election of MMDCE’s.”
According to him education of the public on the advantages of the election of their executives is critical to the exercise.
“We should do more education and sensitization so that people know about the benefit of the process. So that come the referendum, there will be a high turn-out,” Amoah added.
The Ministry is now pushing for the Auditor-General to send a list of corrupt officials at the metropolitan, municipal and district level to face parliament’s Public Accounts Committee for onward prosecution.
This forms part of efforts to fight corruption at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
The Afro Barometer survey was conducted among 2,400 respondents in 171 districts across all ten regions of the country.
By Nana Oye Ankrah