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Local Government Expert Advocates For Consultative Dialogue On MMDCEs Referendum   
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A local government expert has advocated a consultative dialogue between the government and on all political parties on the December 17 referendum on the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

Dr Eric Oduro Osae, the Technical Adviser of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development said such a dialogue was necessary to ensure that Ghanaians turned out in their numbers to vote “yes” in the referendum.
He said following the appeal of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to its supporters to vote “no” in the referendum, it was necessary that they were engaged on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development’s Roadmap for the MMDCEs.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on Friday in Accra, Dr Osae, who urged the NDC to take a second look at the Roadmap, said the comprehensive national Roadmap for the election of MMDCEs, which the Ministry had developed, was the guiding principle for the entire process.

“The Roadmap has made provisions for what we call consequential amendments depending on how the referendum will go. Whether the referendum goes “yes” or “no”; then there are a number of consequential amendments that will take place,” he said.

“Most of the articles the NDC talked about in their News conference had been earmarked for amendments in case the referendum was through. So I will invite the NDC to look at the Roadmap again,” he added.

He continued that: “If they feel the Roadmap does not adequately address their concerns, I think, they need to engage the government, engage the political parties, and they can revise or review the Roadmap to reflect their concerns”.
He said secondly, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural development undertook a nationwide consultation over the then 10 regions, when they were developing the Roadmap; and the NDC was represented in all the platforms at both the regional level and at the national consultative meeting, and on each of the occasions; they expressed their support for the process.

He said, he also read the Parliamentary Hansard, and he noticed that some of the parliamentarians of the NDC also expressed their support for the process.

“That notwithstanding, I believe that democracy is about consensus-building, democracy is about negotiations, democracy is about discussing the issue,” Dr Osae said.

“They have an important stake in the politics of Ghana, I will advise that the two main political parties (the NDC and the New Patriotic Party), together with other political parties must have a national conversation so that we will be able to move the process forward.”

Dr Osae noted that: “But the bottom line is that if we want to see democracy at play at the national and local government levels, we will have to democratize local government levels through multi-partisan elections; so that the local government system will be in tandem with the national level.”

He said there was the need for stakeholders such as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Electoral Commission (EC), civil society and the political parties to intensify their campaigns to get the people to understand the whole process, so that they would be able to make informed decisions in the referendum.
Source: GNA

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