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General News Fri, 29 May 2009

Election of District, Municipal, Metropolitan Chief Executives advocated

Accra, May 29, GNA - Mr. George Kyea Baffour, Former President of the National Local Authority of Ghana, has called for the election of District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives (DMMCEs), to enable the people to have much say in the selection of those who govern them.

He said this would deepen the country's democracy as the President would be compelled to work with people from diverse political background and build tolerance among politicians.

Mr. Baffour was speaking at a symposium, jointly organised by the CDD-Ghana and the Canadian High Commission on the topic: "Reflection on Ghana's Decentralisation Programme: Progress, Stagnation or Retrogression", in Accra on Thursday.

He said the difficulty in the local governance structure of the country was to assume that it was non-partisan whereas every fact pointed to the clue that it was very partisan.

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Mr. Baffour said that the interference of the Executive arm of government was the cause of the major problem of the decentralization process in the country.

He said payment of unacceptable sitting allowance to assembly members militated against the decentralization process. Mr. Baffour said all countries such as Sierra Leone that adopted Ghana's decentralization process were making progress while Ghana was failing in the practice.

He called on the media, Ghanaians and other stakeholders to help salvage the local governance system before it collapsed totally. Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, wondered why the New Patriotic Party (NPP), could not ensure that the position of District, Municipal, Metropolitan Chief Executive become elective after eight years in power. He said the new government would consider all suggestions made about the local government system, which would form the basis for any review of the system.

The decentralization system that was started in Ghana in 1988, aimed at transferring power, authority and responsibility from the central government to sub-national levels of government. It was incorporated in the 1992 Constitution and the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462) in furtherance of national cohesion and development. 29 May 09 Attention recipients, item 02 ends first cast.

Source: GNA
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