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LOCAL GOV’T MINISTER MEETS NCCE STAFF ON ELECTIONS OF MMDCES

Between January and September 2019, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) will undertake a national campaign on the Referendum to amend article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution.


The campaign aims to achieve across party consensus, high turnout, massive involvement of key stakeholder to ensure that the numbers required to approve the Referendum are secure.


The Referendum will determine whether or not to allow the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).


For the referendum to pass, as required by Article 290 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, at least 40 percent of persons entitled to vote, must vote at the referendum, 75 percent of those who voted must cast their votes in favour of the bill, and when the bill is approved, Parliament shall pass it and the bill, so passed by Parliament, shall then be assented to by the President.


The Referendum is scheduled to be conducted in September 2019 alongside the District Level Elections.


Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister, MLGRD, who announced this at a meeting on the implementation of the national roadmap for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in Accra, yesterday, noted that the most critical part of the roadmap was the Referendum to amend article 55(3)of the 1992  Constitution.


The meeting was held between the Ministry of Local Government, led by the sector Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama and the staff of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).


The objective of the meeting was to seek the support, advice and guidance of NCCE on the process and to expose them to the practical steps taken by the Ministry to operationalize the policy.


Hajia Mahama explained that the roadmap implementation was divided into three segments—the pre-referendum, referendum and post referendum activities.


Under these, she said, was the election of MMDCEs, review of legislations and preparation of background documents and drafting the bill for the amendments of Article 55(3), which is an entrenchment provision of the 1992 Constitution.


She said the other activities were the submission of a national consensus report and a proposed bill for amending Article 55 (3) of the Constitution and the presentation of the bill to the Speaker of Parliament.


Hajia Mahama said 2020 had been reserved for post referendum activities,basically involving the review of key consequential laws including Article 242 of the 1992 Constitution on the Composition of Assemblies, Article 243 on the Appointment of District Chief Executives and the District Assembly Elections Act, 1994(Act 473), among others.


She said 2021 would be the year of the elections which would be between June  and July 2021, in line with time framework provided under Article 246 (1) (v), adding that the roadmap had created spaces for state and non-state actors throughout the implementation process to play various activities.


The Minister noted that the political parties appeared not to be so excited about the elections of MMDCE’s and that more sensitization needed to be done.


Ms Kathlyn Addy, Deputy Chairperson of NCCE in charge of Finance and Administration, expressed disappointment that the programme toward the elections could not be rolled out this year.


Ms Addy was of the view that more education and sensitization were required to get people to understand and accept it.


She stressed the need for funds to be allocated her outfit early enough for work to begin on the sensitization campaign beforethe year ended.


Source: ISD (Nana Ama Bonnah)