MMDCE Election Will Deepen Monetization In Politics-NDC
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has raised the alarm of deepening the monetization of our political process of electing leaders, if the Metropolitan , Municipal And District Chief Executive positions are made elective.
According to the NDC, the cost of running a partisan political position is very expensive and has been identified as one of the causes of bribery and corruption in political party office.
At a press conference to state its position on the upcoming referendum to amend Article 55 (3) which will allow for the election of district chief executives ,the Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, explained that the decision if allowed to go through will increase the cost of political party activities.
“Currently, the cost of the non-partisan district level elections, that is the District Assembly and UnitCommittee elections, including the cost of the campaigns of the candidates through the mounting ofthe platform system, is borne by the state. If the elections are made partisan and political parties areto sponsor candidates for the District Assembly
and Unit Committee elections, will the cost of thoseelections and the cost of the campaigns of the candidates continue to be borne by the state or the costwill be passed on to the political parties? Are the political parties in a position to bear that cost?“, he quizzed.
The NDC, is kicking against the referendum and calling on Ghanaians to vote a ‘No’, saying the referendum will worsen an already polarized country.
Once the district level elections become partisan, political parties may becompelled to hold party primaries at both the electoral area and unit levels in order to selectcandidates for the District Assembly and Unit Committee elections which he indicated will bear too much cost
“Are the political parties ready,willing and able to bear those costs? Are we prepared to transfer the canker of monetization in ournational politics onto the local government system?“, he further added.
A total of about 7,000 electoral areas are located across the country which he pointed out will require the two major political parties to field candidates, stressing that it will take a toll on the candidates which will eventually breed the grounds for corruption in the sense that a candidate who spends too much will find a way to recoup his or her investment.
The party chairman, who supported at the press conference by the political committee also asked the government to avert its mind to the likely hostility between an elected district Chief executive whose party is in government.
This situation, he pointed out is the reason why the framers of the local government system did not want development to be politicized for which they made it non partisan.
“Has government considered the likelihood of heightened tensions between the CentralGovernment and “hostile” District Assemblies and especially between “hostile” District ChiefExecutives (in the sense of elected District Chief Executives who do not belong to the President’sparty) and the President.?“,he asked.
Our support for the election of MMDCEs has not changed. We note however that article 243 (1)on the election of DCEs is not an entrenched clause in the 1992 constitution and can therefore bechanged by two-thirds majority of all parliamentarians, he said.
“A referendum is not required to effect thechange allowing for the election of MMDCEs. Government may therefore place a Bill beforeParliament setting out the modalities for the referendum “, he added.