The Government is now awaiting Parliamentary approval of a Bill to amend Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to pave way for the participation of political parties in the district level elections.
The bill, which had been approved by Cabinet and published in the Gazette, maturing on 24th May, was laid in Parliament for the first reading on 28th May, 2019, Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development said.
She said the Ministry was also working to ensure that the law that allowed the President to appoint the District Chief Executives (DCEs) was outdated.
She explained that the amendment Bill of Article 243 (1) on appointment of MMDCEs by the President had been approved by Cabinet, Gazetted, laid in Parliament and referred to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament.
Announcing the roadmap on elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) at the meet-the-press series in Accra on Wednesday, Hajia Mahama reiterated that the efforts at electing the DCEs was aimed at deepening the democratic process of the country.
The Minister said a National Campaign Strategy had been developed to facilitate a successful national referendum that would be conducted alongside the District Level Elections in December 2019, urging all the stakeholders, especially, the Media, to support the campaign efforts in making the process successfully.
Hajia Mahama said as part of the process, the sector Ministry had conducted series of stakeholders’ sensitization and consultations in all regions, having met groups including the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and the Electoral Commission (EC).
Also, the National House of Chiefs, the Political Parties, the Christian Council of Ghana, the Federation of Muslim Councils in Ghana and the Professional and Civil Society groups had all been engaged with to ensure a consensus.
She indicated that: “The roadmap on election of MMDCE has been designed to be implemented in four phases: Pre-Referendum Phase, Referendum Phase, Post Referendum Phase, Change Management and Capacity Building Phase”.
Ghana had implemented the current decentralisation and local government system since 1988.
Though significant progress had been made, experts said there were a few grey areas that required improvement for participatory governance and local democracy to be deepened.
One of such grey areas had been the need to popularly elect MMDCEs on partisan basis to be in tandem with the mode of electing national level leaders.