Maxwell Kofi Jumah, a former Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, has proposed the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the country but not on partisan basis.
He said currently, the president nominates all MMDCEs for confirmation by their assemblies and he recently reiterated his dedication, commitment and determination in ensuring they were elected along partisan lines.
Mr Jumah, the former Member of Parliament for the Asokwa Constituency in the Ashanti Region agreed with the election of MMDCEs as practiced in some developed countries and indicated that “the only way, we can say we are practising democracy is to elect our MMDCEs but not on partisan basis.
“Currently, we are not totally democratic as of now because MMDCEs must be elected by the people they are going to serve so as to deepen probity, accountability and transparency so they should be elected in our bid to strengthen our democratic dispensation so that our democracy should not end at the national level but should translate down to the households.
“However, I do not subscribe to the election being conducted on partisan basis, I sincerely believe we should leave the partisan at the national level and there is not sufficient understanding of political systems in the country, especially at the lower level,” Mr Jumah suggested.
In 2019, the Akufo-Addo-led administration initiated moves to democratise the selection of leaders at the local government level with a proposal for the amendment of Article 243 (1) and a further amendment to Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, to enable political parties to participate in local level elections.
But the plan hit a snag following lack of bipartisan backing for the referendum to amend Article 55 (3), compelling President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to withdraw the reforms although the 1992 Constitution, in Article 55 (3), gives the mandate for the organisation of political party elections, excluded the election of MMDCEs.
Article 55(3) states that: Subject to the provisions of this Article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character, and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) or lower local government units.