A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, Dr Kwame Asah-Asante, has welcomed the government’s moves to revisit the unfinished agenda towards legal reforms to facilitate the election of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies chief executives (MMDCEs).
He said the election of MMDCEs would strengthen democracy at the grassroots and give the people the opportunity to have their choice of MMDCEs as opposed to the President administering governance through them at that level.
“I believe the election of the MMDCEs is long overdue.
I am happy that the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Dan Botwe, is trying to bring the issue up for a conversation and a possible execution,” he stated.
Dr Asah-Asante said this in an interview with the Daily Graphic following the disclosure by the Local Government Minister, Dan Botwe, on the election of MMDCEs.
Mr Botwe, addressing the 6th Graduation ceremony of the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) at Ogbojo in Accra last Saturday, said the political decentralisation reform with proposed amendment of Articles 243 and 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution which was cancelled in 2019 due to inadequate stakeholder understanding and consensus would help to decentralise the structure of governance in the country so that the government would be brought closer to the people when repealed.
Welcoming it, Dr Asah-Asante said there were a lot of advantages associated with that which would come with the election of the MMDCEs.
He said it would allow for effective administration of the state at the local level and inspire confidence in the local governance system by way of election, and that the people who were elected as the MMDCEs by the citizenry would be prepared to give their all.
He noted that Ghanaians had come to accept democracy and elections as a way of electing their leaders at the national level, and when same was replicated at the grassroot level it would also increase voter turnout in the district level elections.
“Once you put this system in place, obviously we will get high numbers to vote.
Remember that Ghanaians have come to accept democracy as the only way to select their leaders so they will do everything possible for it to work,” Dr Asah-Asante stated.
“For the good of democracy we believe that any process that is meant to elect leaders into office is the way this country should go,” he stated.
The political science lecturer, however, expressed his reservations about the way the national elections to elect a president and parliamentarians were characterised by electoral malpractices and violence.
“Our prayer is that when we go on that tangent to elect MMDCEs, and it is accepted by all we will not introduce the evils that are associated with the national election such as rigging, irregularities, introduction of machomen into the local level elections,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the electoral violence and other related issues associated with the country’s national elections would be a thing of the past as the country prepared to embrace the election of MMDCEs.