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Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development on Tuesday advised the electorate to elect development oriented Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to promote good governance and local democratic system.
She said MMDCEs must be more responsive and accountable to the people and stressed the need for committed and development minded people to be chosen to lead the various assemblies’ development process.
Hajia Mahama gave the advice in Tamale during a sensitisation workshop organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in partnership with the office of the President on the election of MMDCEs.
The event was to prepare candidates for the necessary constitutional and legal changes required for the election of MMDCEs in the country and to expose stakeholders to the functions and roles of the MMDCEs to know what was expected of them in the upcoming referendum and the importance of having MMDCEs elected on a partisan basis.
She explained that the benefits of electing MMDCEs on partisan basis were to promote local democracy by giving the opportunity to choose their own leaders.
Hajia Mahama stated that security of tenure of office protected the elected MMDCEs since the president could no longer sack them, which would make them certain that they had the minimum of the four-year term just like Members of Parliament (MPs).
She said the election would also reduce tension and acrimony between the MMDCEs and MPs which always derailed development.
She noted that the election would reduce the incidents of having unpopular candidates selected as MMDCEs by the assemblies and removed, or at least, minimised the alleged corruption associated with approval of nominees by assemblies.
Mr Salifu Sa-eed, the Northern Regional Minister said the election of MMDCEs had become International best practice adopted by many countries to deepen local democracy through popular participation in governance.
He said it also existed in Western Europe, Japan, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia and Gambia and advised participants to help create awareness on the importance of the election of the MMDCEs, which would deepen the decentralisation process in the country.
Mr Sa-eed said there was the need to build consensus on how to deepen local democracy and good governance with the election of MMDCEs on a partisan basis.
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