The Institute for Democratic Governance, IDEG, is saying the only way to hold the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, MMDCEs accountable to the developmental needs of the people is to elect them.
According to Seth Abloso, a member of the steering committee of the Civic Forum Initiative, CFI, when MMDCEs are elected by their own people, they are answerable to the people and will work hard to map out strategies to bring even development to their areas to enhance the appalling living conditions of the people.
He has, however, challenged all presidential aspirants, who are seeking the mandate of the electorate in the December 2016 polls to ensure they stick to their steadfast of amending the constitution to allow MMDCEs to be elected by the people if voted into office of the presidency.
Mr. Abloso was addressing a mammoth gathering which brought together some revered stakeholders to brainstorm on the need for the election of the MMDCEs at a Regional Dialogue on Democratic Devolution in Bolgatanga of the Upper East Region.
Speaking on the theme: "Strengthening Democratic Development through Multi-party Based Local Government", Mr. Abloso, said if the position of the DCE was open to all members of the political divide to contest, it would ease the partisan rancour and political acrimony, and that the DCEs would be resolved to explore to increase revenue mobilisation for the development of their districts.
" When DCEs are elected by the people whom they serve, they they will be committed to working hard for the development of their respective districts for the fear they will lose re-election if they underperform. All these issues about insults, name callings, violence will stop because they know when their party loses elections, it has a chance of being represented in the District Assembly", he explained.
IDEG proposed the District Assembly Common Fund should be increased from seven percent to 15 percent in order to enable the various districts attain the desired progress and that, proportional representation should be introduced to enhance women's participation in national and local level elections.
A senior lecturer, School of Law, University of Ghana, Dr. Peter Atupare, who delivered his keynote address on the roadmap to the constitutional amendment process, emphasised he was optimistic the election of MMDCEs would reduce tensions and violence during electioneering since there would be power sharing in Local Government.
He also called on government to consider reviewing upwards the allowances being paid to chiefs and traditional leaders, saying the allowances paid to chiefs were very low and pathetic, hence the need for government to empower them economically since they played a crucial role in the development of the country and protecting the cultural sanctity of the people under their jurisdictions.
Source: Francis Dabre Dabang/ email: [email protected]
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