Akufo-Addo reignites debate on election of MMDCEs; seeks to reintroduce idea

President Akufo-Addo
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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is seeking to reintroduce the idea of having Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) elected in the country.

He said consultations are underway on this move.

“It was and continues to be my view that the repeal or modification of an entrenched clause of the Constitution should attract widespread support to make it acceptable and healthy for the body politic. We should further bear in mind the strong attachment of the Ghanaian people to multi-party democratic elections.

“On the average, the turn out for national elections in the 4th Republic has been 72%, one of the highest in the world, whilst the turn out for the allegedly non-partisan local government elections has always hovered around thirty percent (30%),” he said when he addressed the nation on the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, on Thursday April 29.

The president added, “I have said it before, and I will repeat it. I will continue to work for an extensive, national consensus on this issue, and should such a consensus be attained for the repeal of article 55(3) of the Constitution, and an agreement reached for political parties to participate in and sponsor candidates for election to district assemblies, at any point during my remaining tenure of office as President of the Republic, the matter will be brought back again to the front burner of our public discourse for the necessary action.

“I am hoping that, after completing the necessary consultations, I will, shortly, be in a position to announce a way forward on this important matter.”

Mr Akufo-Addo in 2019 ordered for the withdrawal of a Bill that was seeking to amend Article 243(1) of the Constitution which allows the President to appoint MMDCEs.

In a national address where he announced the cancellation of the December 17, 2019 referendum that was to decide on an amendment of Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to enable political parties to participate in local level elections, the President also put on hold plans that would also allow for the election of MMDCEs as he promised ahead of the 2016 elections.

“It is with deep regret that I have given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development …to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the Bills for the amendment of the Constitutions both in respect of Article 243 (1) and Article 55 (3).”

Whilst the President attributed the decision to cancel the referendum to the absence of “a durable national consensus” on the matter, he did not explain why the Bill to amend Article 243 (1) was also withdrawn despite the fact that it had seeming bipartisan backing.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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