The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced the referendum on the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) will come off December 17, 2019 instead of the initial date of December 10.
The Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, announced the new date at the launch of a coalition formed by some civil society organisations (CSOs) to push for the election of MMDCEs in Accra yesterday. He said the change in the date was occasioned by the delay caused by the injunction application by a citizen, Mr Umar Ayuba, to the Supreme Court to stop the limited registration of voters which formed part of activities in the road map to the referendum. Mr Ayuba filed the injunction against the EC’s decision to limit the limited voters registration exercise to its district offices on grounds that the move would disenfranchise many people.
Dr Serebour called for the support of stakeholders such as the media, the Judiciary, political parties and the general public to help the EC deliver on its mandate, state-owned Daily Graphic reported. The government has activated a process to amend two clauses in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana to pave the way for the election of MMDCEs and to allow for political participation in local level elections. Two bills seeking amendments to Articles 243(1) and 55(3) for election of MMDCEs and introduction of political party participation in the local elections have been presented to Parliament to be passed.
Ghana has implemented the current decentralisation and local government system since 1988. Though significant progress has been made, there are a few grey areas that require improvement for participatory governance and local democracy to be deepened. One of such grey areas is the need to popularly elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on a partisan basis to be in tandem with the mode of electing national level leaders.