President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says practising multiparty democracy at the ‘top’ of the governance structure but making the district level ‘non-partisan’ is deceptive, for which reason it is time to remove the “fiction and showcase reality”.
He said much as Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution remained entrenched on the issue, it was time Ghanaians embraced the proposal to introduce multiparty elections at the district level to cede the President’s power to appoint local people.
The President was addressing metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and key staff of the assemblies in the Ashanti Region at a workshop in Kumasi last Wednesday following the dissolution of all assemblies last Monday.
The three-day training programme, organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, is to prepare the MMDCEs for the December 17, 2019 referendum on the election of assembly members on partisan tickets and for MMDCEs to be elected.
To make the process legitimate, it must have a 40-per cent voter turnout and 75 per cent Yes vote.
The President said the move to secure a Yes vote to allow for the election of MMDCEs at the local level was a manifesto promise of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and so failure to actualise it would create a credibility problem in the 2020 elections.
The December 17 referendum also coincides with the election of new assembly members and unit committee members.
In their absence though, the various chief executives would continue to run the day-to-day affairs of the assemblies.
President Akufo-Addo said the government, at the central level, was only responsible for designing policies, but the real implementation came from the district level.
He said a malfunctioning government, therefore, implied a malfunctioning district assembly, and vise versa.
The President urged all to seize the opportunity to make history for future generations to be kind in acknowledging their works.
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, said it was time to renew the focus on internally generated funds.
She announced the development of a digital software to promote e-payment to generate more funds.
Hajia Mahama said disbursements to the assemblies had soared from GH¢1 billion to GH¢1.3 billion since 2017.