The Vice President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Frank Serebour has counseled government against the implementation of the proposed bill to Parliament, seeking to amend Articles 243 (1) and 55(3) of the Constitution for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and introduction of political party participation in the local elections.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged his appointees to ensure the success of a planned National referendum aimed at making the position of MMDCEs an elected one.
Addressing some Chief Executives of Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Ashanti region last Wednesday as part of his ended tour of the region, the President revealed that the credibility of his government and his position as President will be at stake in the 2020 general elections if the agenda to have the election of MMDCEs fails.
“It is going to look very bad if a manifesto commitment by the NPP administration within a year of going to the polls cannot be delivered on. We have to deliver on it.
“Otherwise our credibility will be very much at stake in 2020. And since all of us our position; from President and Chief Executives hinges on the victory of the NPP, we should be careful about jeopardizing the chances of the NPP in the elections ahead of us,” he charged his appointees.
Commenting on the issue as a guest on @pure957fm’s ‘BRESOSEM’ (a political talskhow program) hosted by Dr. Otchere Addai-Mensah (Vice President of UTAG), the Medical Practitioner advised that, it will be a rushed decision on our part as a country if we allow parliament to amend and pass the bill without making it clear to the populace the guidelines and modalities involved.
“Doc, it will be detrimental if we allow this to happen without understanding and evaluating the consequences.
If we elect these MMDCEs, will they be equivalent to governors, appointing their own administrative staff, Heads in the various Municipal and Metropolitan directorates?
Are you saying they will have the power to appoint, transfer and dismiss even medical practitioners in their District or Assembly? These questions need to be answered before we think of accepting the proposal.” He said.
Dr. Serebour further stated that the argument of the election of MMDCEs will help ensure accountability and independence in the discharge of their duties is flawed as these elected officials will serve the bidding of their political parties that they represent.
“Doc, they should not push this down our throat without we appreciating the guidelines. Are you saying these officials who will be elected on party lines will act independently off their political party’s position? The challenges will be same as in the case of the MPs we claim are not representing our interest.”
The election of MMDCEs was a major campaign promise of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run-up to the 2016 election.
In this regard, government presented two bills to Parliament, seeking amendments to Articles 243 (1) and 55(3) for the election of MMDCEs and introduction of political party participation in the local elections.
Previously, the law, in Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution stipulated that District Chief Executives for every district were to be appointed by the President with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the assembly present and voting at the meeting.
The referendum for the election of the Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives is set to happen on December 17, 2019, as declared by the Electoral Commission.
Source: Mypurefmonline.com/ 957fm/ Evans Osei-Bonsu/ October 13, 2019.