Flagbearer for the Progressive People’s Party Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom has expressed disappoint in President Mills over his (President Mills’)decision to retain “the essential wrong embedded in the 1992 Constitution”.

Dr. Nduom noted in a release on Tuesday that, the Government white paper issued by President Mills failed to correct the wrong, in Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution which gives power to the President to appoint MMDCE’s.

Read Dr. Nduom’s statement in detail:

During the course of the 2008 elections, I made the promise to return power to the people. Both current President John Atta-Mills and Nana Akufo-Addo made similar commitments – to accelerate decentralization of power to the local level and cap it with the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDEs). I am disappointed at the turn of events as the White Paper issued by the Mills Administration retains the essential wrong embedded in the 1992 Constitution that we were seeking to correct – the nomination of the candidate for the position of MMDCE by the President of the Republic of Ghana.

The wrong Ghanaians want to correct can be found in the Constitution. Article 243 (1) of the 1992 constitution provides that: “There shall be a District Chief Executive for every district who shall be appointed by the President with prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the assembly present and voting at the meeting”.

The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), recommended in its report that article 243(1) be amended to make the position of DCEs elective through universal adult suffrage as pertains at the Presidential and Parliamentary levels. But the administration led by President John Atta-Mills has rejected the CRCs recommendation. The Mills Administration has in a White paper proposed a more complex amendment of article 243 (1) to have the President nominate a minimum of five persons who would be vetted by the Public Services Commission for competence compliance after which the first three would compete in a public election. Ghanaians must resist this attempt by the Mills Administration to continue to usurp the power of the people. The Constitutional Review Commission after listening to Ghanaians from all walks of life got it right. Ghanaians must be given the right to elect their MMDEs without any interference from the President.

I have been an elected Assembly Member before and experienced personally the shortcomings of the current situation where the President appoints the MMDE and 30% of Assembly Members. It is the elected members of the Assembly who are called upon by the people to deal with the problems that confront them, not the appointed ones and certainly not the appointed MMDE because they do not listen to them. If we want to accelerate development at the local level, we must make the political authority at the Assembly level responsive to the people at that level and NOT to the President who resides in Accra.

I recommend the PPP’s approach to local government as a counter to that of the NDC. The position of the Mills-led NDC Administration is self-serving, myopic, unproductive and against the interest of the people. The Progressive People’s Party (PPP)’s approach to local government is embodied in the section of our Political Platform that promises to:
“Give Power to the People for Development. Sponsor changing the Constitution to enable the election of all District Assembly Members and District/Municipal/Metropolitan Chief Executives to ensure local accountability and rapid development. This we will do in one term of office.”

God bless our homeland Ghana. We must resist oppressors’ rule at all times.

Awake Ghana!

July 10, 2012