The much anticipated list of nominee Municipal Metropolitan & District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) was finally released by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe on behalf of the President this week.
The approval of the list for various Districts, is however preceding by outright rejection and total commotion by some local settlers or indigenes, mainly, NPP supporters in various districts or localities throughout the country.
By the Local Government act, the nominee MMDCEs need two-third approval by District Assembly members before they can assume the position. The concerns expressed by the agitators, border on the perceived incompetence of some of the nominees, at the expense of others, they consider to be more capable for the position.
Others are questioning the President’s refusal to retain some of the MMDCEs, who in the estimation of agitating lots, did a marvelous job during their first term tenure as MMDCEs.
Aside, bringing to the attention of the President, the questionable status of some of his nominee MMDCEs, Today discovered that the agitators would want the approval body—the District Assemblies, to consider seriously their concerns, before casting their ballot on the nominees.
History of Ghana’s MMDCE selection has been replete with similar tales. It’s on the basis of such disagreements that political stakeholders and other identifiable groups had long argued for the selection of MMDCEs through a Universal Adult Suffrage—that’s through partisan voting.
It has been the thought of these groups that “if Ghanaians were capable enough to elect their Members of Parliament and a President of the Republic, why can’t same people elect their local representatives to head their District Assembles”?
Such preposition thus defeats the often stated counter argument that people are likely to vote for a local drunk to represent them at the Assemblies if the process was open to a popular voting. In its manifesto prior to the 2016 elections, the NPP promised Ghanaians of committing the District Assemblies selection exercise to a Universal Suffrage. That suffered a jolt at birth.
And in the midst of the brouhaha, sector Minister, Dan Botwe has disclosed that the government is still committed to the partisan election of MMDCEs. Mr. Botwe disclosed that although government had shown commitment to the partisan approach to the process, there was lack of consensus from the opposition NDC.
In the view of the Minister, if the NDC had agreed to the partisan tabling of the process, there would have been a referendum to change the act to involve political party elections in the selection of MMDCEs.
The position of Minister Botwe has however come under intense criticism with people wondering if the NPP was indeed committed to the partisan consideration in the process. They argue that they wouldn’t have been the need for any form of consensus building from, especially an opposition grouping like the NDC that had all along kicked against the partisan consideration in the process.
The logical conclusion reached by many observers is that the NPP was in itself not committed to the process; their attempt to expand the process through voting on political lines was only a façade and therefore saw the already known position of the NDC as well enough grounds to seek refuge.
The Today newspaper revealed to Ghanaians in one of its publications, the reasons why the President had delayed in announcing the list of potential MMDCEs. One of the main factors as the paper alluded to was the thorough scrutiny of the list to ensure that those who would be given the appointment will help the NPP to prosecute it “Beyond 8 Agenda” in 2024.
It’s been the wish of the ruling party to beat the unstated convention where all administrations in the 4th Republic had run its full cycle of two terms of 8-year tenure of office. Our finding was confirmed by the Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Lawyer Obiri Boahen to the media after the release of the MMDCEs list.
In the said interview, Obiri Boahen charged the President to fire any Chief Executive for the various Assemblies who fails to help with the NPP vision of beating the 8-year political office cycle.
But NPP insiders have hinted this paper that the “Beat the 8” agenda is mainly linked to the prosecution of Vice President Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia’s presidential nomination bid to lead the NPP in the 2024 elections. And the MMDCE nominees when approved, will have the onerous duty of ensuring that Dr. Bawumia wins the NPP presidential primary.
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