The Coalition for the Election of DCEs (CED) has petitioned the Council of State to advise the President to initiate moves to change existing laws that make it mandatory for Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to be nominated.
They said there was an urgent need for government to remove what they called “the democratic deficit in Ghana’s governance system with the direct and popular election of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).”
A statement issued in Accra and signed by William Dowokpor, a leading member of the coalition said “the coalition believes the direct election of all categories of local government chief executive will give power to the people for rapid sustainable development and guarantee local accountability.”
The statement said the Convenor of the Coalition, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, Chairman of the Progressive People’s party (PPP) asked the Council of State to talk the President out of the proposed partial reforms contained in the government white paper on the election of DCEs.
According to the release, the government White Paper on the Constitutional Review Commission seeks to have the President nominate a minimum of five persons who would be vetted by the Public Services Commission (PSC) for competence after which three nominees would contest in a public election.
“It will not be transparent enough to reassure Ghanaians that those who will be elected through this new process would be accountable to their constituents. We believe this minimalistic change to the process of appointing MMDCEs can only fan the “winner –takes –all” culture which is killing the development of our dear motherland Ghana, it noted.
Eva Lokko, another member of the coalition, in the release, asked the Council to put Ghana and public interest first, saying “so that it will not matter whether your advice is made public or not, the interest of Ghana should be served at all times.”
Cecilia Johnson, a leading member of the Council of State, expressed gratitude to the coalition for the petition and gave the assurance that the council would consider the petition and advise the President appropriately.
“While Council does not make public its advice to the President, we can assure you that the work you have done would not be time wasted,” she was quoted as saying.
The release said over 1,000 Ghanaians, both home and abroad, had signed the petition in support of the direct election of DCEs in Ghana.
President John Mahama and the Constitution Review Implementation Committee (CRIC) have already been petitioned at separate meeting convened at the instance of the coalition.