Kofi Bentil is the Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa

The vice president of IMANI Africa has rejected President Akufo-Addo’s call for Article 55(3) to be amended to allow political parties to participate in Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) election.

Kofi Bentil says it is not mandatory for District Chief Executives (DCEs) and Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs) to be elected on a partisan basis.

He told JoyNews Evans Mensah on Thursday that DCEs and MCEs can be elected without amending any entrenched clauses in the Constitution.

This comes after the President had addressed the nation to commemorate the 30 years since the 1992 Constitution was introduced.

“I think that one of the things the President can do is to make sure we elect DCEs and MCEs, and I disagree with the President when he says that we need to amend the entrenched clauses before we can do that. We do not need to amend to elect our DCEs and MCEs.

“We can elect them tomorrow by an Act of Parliament, but political party participation in that process is what requires amendment. But, on the other hand, we don’t need political party participation to elect DCEs and MCEs, so indeed, I think the President can deliver on that issue without forcing us to go through a referendum to do an amendment,” he stated.

President Akufo-Addo, in his address on Thursday, reiterated his commitment to repeal Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution, which bars political parties from participating in the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

The President said the amendment of this article of the Constitution would enable a healthy body politic and deepen the decentralisation of the country’s democracy.

President Akufo-Addo, in this regard, has announced that he will bring back this subject to the front burner of public discourse for further action to be taken.

'We don’t need political party participation to elect DCE and MCEs' – Kofi Bentil
Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil.

“It was and continues to be in my view that the repeal or modification of an entrenched clause in the Constitution should attract widespread support to make it acceptable and healthy for the body politic. We should further bear in mind the strong attachment of the Ghanaian people to the multi-party democratic elections,” he said.

But the IMANI Africa veep disagrees.

Mr Bentil said it will be unpardonable for President Akufo-Addo if he fails to change the status quo of DCEs and MCEs being appointed by politicians.

“If he doesn’t achieve this, it will be unpardonable. At best, we would say that he failed, but at worst, we would say that the President does not even intend for us to do that. In fact, politicians in office like it that they appoint DCEs and MCEs,” he added.