The Progressive People’s Party(PPP) has called on the government to immediately amend Article 243 (3) of the 1992 Constitution before Ghanaians go to vote in the referendum slated for the end of the year.
Article 243 (3) of the 1992 Constitution states: “The office of District Chief Executive shall become vacant if –
(a) a vote of no confidence, supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the District Assembly is passed against him; or(b) he is removed from office by the President; or
(c) he resigns or dies.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Monday, Communications Director for the PPP, Paa Ackon said the comprehensive way to ensure that the outcome from the referendum after Ghanaians voted ‘Yes’ is to amend Article 243 of the 1992 constitution which gives the president power to appoint Metropolitan, Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
According to him, the PPP is in total support of the referendum on the election of MMDCEs but observed “if Article 243(3) is not amended, the president will still have power to sack any MMDCE.”
The Progressive People’s Party believes, if the above stated Article in the Constitution is not amended, presidents could hide under the highest laws of the land to pursue their parochial political agenda thereby putting the country’s efforts of ensuring a strong decentralization in jeopardy.
Per the PPP’s logic, if Article 243(3) is amended, presidents will have no right to remove or dismiss any MMDCE from office.
The party also asked Ghanaians to exercise their civic responsibility by participating in the upcoming referendum in their numbers.
For the first time in the history of Ghana, the Electoral Commission (EC) will conduct three elections comprising District Assembly Members, Unit Committee Members and a Referendum on Sunday, December 17.
The elections of the District Assembly Members and the Unit Committee Members form the critical core of the country’s decentralization process by way of helping to exercise political and administrative authority in the district, provide guidance, give direction to, and supervise the other administrative authorities in the district.
The Referendum, which is also seeking the amendments to Articles 243(1) and 55(3) for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and the introduction of political party participation in the local elections have been presented to Parliament to be passed.
This means if majority of Ghanaian voters accepted the amendment of Articles 243(1) and 55(3) in upcoming referendum, all MMDCEs would be elected by Universal Adult Suffrage after the 2020 general election.