Participants drawn from the political, economic and social groupings in the Volta Region have overwhelmingly endorsed the popular election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) at a workshop in Ho.
They, however, called for the completion of the decentralization process to give full authority to the elected MMDCEs as they would be held directly accountable to the electorate.
The second regional sensitization workshop on the first time election of MMDCES in Ghana held in the Volta Regional capital sought among others to build consensus on how to deepen local democracy and good governance with the election of MMDCES on a partisan basis.
It also sensitized the stakeholders on their required roles in the upcoming referendum to amend the 1992 constitution for the MMDCES to be elected on a partisan basis.
Participants including current and former Assembly and Unit Committee members, Chiefs and traditional authority leaders, Opinion leaders, Faith-based organizations, Civil Society groups and Vulnerable groups such Persons With Disability(PWDs), women, economic and youth groups were exposed to the required functions of MMDCEs within Ghana’s decentralization system.
Presenting their views at the plenary, the various work groups called for focused and intensive public education on the roles the MMDCEs and the need for them to be elected on a partisan basis.
They asked that women and other vulnerable groups should be given a quota lest they fell victim to the vagaries of partisan popular elections and got excluded them from local governance and development.
According to the participants, the Members of Parliament’s share of the Common Fund should be scrapped to give the elected MMDCE full control over the resources that flow into the assembly’s coffers.
They agreed that the election of the MMDCEs would reduce corrupt practices like vote buying during the endorsement of MMDCEs by assembly members but warned that the election should not be reduced to a popularity contest but serve as a platform to offer competent, visionary and development-oriented persons to guide the local agenda.
Participants dreaded the situation where the MMDCEs would not belong to the same party as the President of the Republic adding that sensitive information could be leaked to the diabolic ear.