Accra, Sept 9,
GNA - Mr Stephen Ashitey Adjei, Executive Member of the National Democratic
Congress (NDC) in the Tema East Constituency, has called on chiefs to take a
stance against government’s move to change the appointment process for MMDCEs
into an electoral one.
experience with national level election, I do not think that it will be lost on
anybody that introducing elections, with all its acrimony, as the new means to
elect our local chief executives simply means spreading the acrimonious cancer
to the local level as well.
“If we change
from having the President appoint the MMDCEs to the situation, where they are
elected, our chiefs will be the first to suffer the consequence,” Moshake said.
Adjei, who is popularly known as Moshake was speaking in an interview with the
Ghana News Agency on the forthcoming referendum on the election of MMDCEs. He
said the alternative arrangement was a trap that would introduce unnecessary
cumbersomeness in governance at the local level.
that, “in the current dispensation, where MMDCEs are appointed by the
President, our chiefs enjoy some authority and respect from these MMDCEs
because the MMDCEs know that chiefs are naturally positioned to advise the
President about them and therefore, the acceptance of the chief is crucial to
his or her stay in office. But where the MMDCEs are elected, they will feel a
sense of entitlement to the position and unaccountable to the chiefs and this
him, election of MMDCEs could also be dangerous for Presidents and their policy
situation, where the President is from NPP and an elected MMDCE is from the
NDC, It would be chaos at any particular assembly as the local chief executive
from an opposing political tradition could simply sabotage the President and
frustrate his agenda there for political reasons,” Moshake said.
election of MMDCEs also meant that party people who found themselves in the
stronghold of their opponents, had little chance of being rewarded with
positions like district or Municipal or Metropolitan Chief Executive, for their
sacrifices for the party. He said, subjecting the local chief executive
position to elections would also create room for people with ill gotten wealth
to hijack governance at the local level.
‘moneycracy’ in the election of MMDCEs will make our chiefs lose any influence
they have on MMDCEs,” he warned.
His take comes
as the government is preparing to subject the matter to a referendum. The
referendum will simply ask participants whether MMDCEs should be voted into
office or appointed.
Adjei warned that if the people vote ‘yes’ in the referendum, the election of
MMDCEs would be the source of many challenges.
He also pointed
out that the government’s decision to tie the referendum with the 2019 local
Assemblies election was self-defeating as local Assembly elections usually did
not attract as much voter interest as the national elections.
Assembly election has usually attracted very low turnout; in the region of 25
per cent of the voter population. But the Constitution requires that with the
referendum, at least a turnout of some 80 per cent is pre-condition, and so off
the ground, the process is fraught with potential flaws,” he added.