A number of faith-based institutions and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have pledged to support the government’s policy of electing Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) on partisan basis.
Consequently, they have teamed up to work together in educating and sensitising Ghanaians to the upcoming referendum which seeks to amend Article 55 (3) and allow for the elections of MMDCEs.
Article 55 (3) of the 1992 Constitution, which is an entrenched provision, states that “Subject to the provisions of this Article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character; and sponsor candidates for election to any public office other than the district assemblies or lower local government units”.
The organisations are the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG).
They made the pledge at the launch of the Regional /Diocesan sensitisation programme on the upcoming referendum held last Friday at the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) in Accra.
The nationwide sensitisation programme is being undertaken by the Directorate of Governance, Peace and Justice of the NCS and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German non-governmental organisation.
Representatives of each of the organisation said the policy when fully implemented would promote democracy by affording local people the opportunity to choose their own leaders, giving meaning to popular participation in governance.
They indicated that the election of MMDCEs would give representation to minority parties at the local level also break the “winner takes all syndrome” whilst giving minorities a say in local governance.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, expressed concerns that even though the referendum “is expected to take place in December 17, this year, just about two months from now, little is heard of it in the public discourse.