The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) has urged the general public to place premium on the coming Referendum as a national project and massively vote yes on the Tuesday, December 17 this year.
According NALAG, the yes vote to attain the constitutionally required outcome would ensure greater involvement of the citizenry in the decision-making process for good governance and holistic development at the local level.
The referendum, NALAG explained was not for the parochial interest of any particular political party but a provision in the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution as a means for the Ghanaian electorate to have the mandate to elect their Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDECs).
Mr. Andrews Bediako, the Administrator of NALAG made the call when he addressed stakeholders and the general public in the Bono Region as part a nationwide regional sensitization on the Referendum in Sunyani.
Mr. Bediako said NALAG had observed that the massage of the referendum had not been well-communicated to the public and because of that, many Ghanaians thought it was rather the date for the election of MMDCEs.
Hence, the need to embark on the sensitization exercise for opinion leaders and the leadership of groups, organisations and communities to also explain the massage well to their people.
The amendment of Article 55(3) would pave way for political parties’ participation in the District Level Election and consequently, Parliament would also amend the Article 243 (1) for the mandate to appoint MMDCEs by the President to change for the electorate rather to elect them (MMDCEs) as their Superintendents at the local level.
The election of the MMDCEs would therefore become an underpinning factor and constitutionally, a political milestone and means of reforming the local governance system, Mr. Bediako said.
“This is a vital and the best opportunity amongst the lot for us to decide for ourselves and generations yet unborn, so let’s not waste it”.
“Let’s reciprocate the President`s good will, shown to Ghanaians by emphatically turning out and vote more than the required 40 per cent and 75 per cent “Yes” of the total votes cast”, Mr. Bediako emphasised.
He stressed that the elections of MMDCEs would not only ensure accountability to the people, but, also make room for more competent people to get the chance to serve the people to facilitate speedy infrastructural and socio-economic development.
Mr. Bediako said other political progress to be derived from the election of MMDCEs as a nation would be the chance for opposition parties’ members to serve the people in the MMDCEs capacity as opposed to the current arrangements, which is the preserve of members of the ruling political party.