The Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) has been tasked by the Minister of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development to organize meetings with pertinent stakeholders in order to foster consensus for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
Legal reforms to facilitate the election of MMDCEs, according to Mr. Daniel Botwe, are “on the government’s unfinished agenda.” He also said that talks with stakeholders would be helpful in gaining insight into their views on significant constitutional revisions.
At the ILGS’s 6th Congregation Ceremony in Madina, Accra, Mr. Botwe told reporters that the results of the meetings would be presented to the President for his consideration.
“We have met IDEG and CDD so, we are tasking the academic wing of the Ministry (ILGS) to start these breakfast meetings and talk to all stakeholders whether we can narrow down on where we differ and see whether there is agreement,” Mr Botwe stated.
The Minister said the contention regarding whether elections at the local level should be partisan would be resolved through the consultations to inform the nature of the required legal reforms.
“The position of my Party (New Patriotic Party) is that it should be partisan, but we will still want to reach a broader consensus. If it is the case that it should be partisan then the amendments must take place,” Mr Botwe said.
The 1992 Constitution’s entrenched provision, Article 55(3), forbids the practice of party politics in local government.
Due to a lack of agreement on the participation of political parties in municipal elections among significant players, a planned referendum to change that section of the Constitution was abandoned in 2019.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo declared the government’s intention to review the referendum after achieving agreement on the issue at the start of a three-day orientation for confirmed MMDCEs in Accra in 2021.