The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has said in a report that half, 50%, of all Ghanaian adults want the 1992 Constitution amended to empower citizens to elect all local government representatives, including the one-third appointed by the president.
However, the report added, a sizeable minority (43%) want the status quo maintained.
Close to seven in every 10 Ghanaians prefer non-partisan election format for the selection of local government representatives (including the one-third appointees) to ensure citizens’ participation and selection of competent person (13%); reduce political interference (11%); and bring solutions to community problems (11%).
“Ghanaians are nearly equally divided in their opinions on whether the current system of electing assembly members is really non-partisan.
“While almost half (48%) say the current system of electing assembly men/women to MMDAs is non-partisan, about a similar proportion (43%) say the current system is partisan.”
This report comes at a time calls are being made to revisit a move to elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive (MMDCEs) in Ghana.
Mr Gabby Otchere Darko, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo intended to have the laws amended in order to make MMDCEs elected as a way of curing the winner takes all problem but some Ghanaians rejected that move,
The former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute said the winner takes all concept in Ghana, from local to national, is not does not help the democracy of Ghana
“It was not for nothing that Akufo-Addo set about to amend the Constitution and have MMDCEs (mayors) elected by the very people they serve. But the opposition had different ideas. The winner takes all, from local to national, is bad for a healthy democracy anywhere in the world.
“Akufo-Addo is not a leader who particularly enjoys wielding the power to appoint or disappoint. He’s slow to reshuffle & even finds the constitutional powers to appoint 1,000s of people tedious a time that could be better spent on getting the work done. But it is what it is,” he said in a tweet reacting to the list of the MMDCEs announced by the Local Government Dan Botwe on Sunday September 19 and some of the agitations that characterized the announcement.
Mr Akufo-Addo in 2019 ordered for the withdrawal of a Bill that was seeking to amend Article 243(1) of the Constitution which allows the President to appoint MMDCEs.
In a national address where he announced the cancellation of the December 17, 2019 referendum that was to decide on an amendment of Article 55 (3) of the Constitution to enable political parties to participate in local level elections, the President also put on hold plans that would also allow for the election of MMDCEs as he promised ahead of the 2016 elections.
“It is with deep regret that I have given instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development …to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the Bills for the amendment of the Constitutions both in respect of Article 243 (1) and Article 55 (3).”
Whilst the President attributed the decision to cancel the referendum to the absence of “a durable national consensus” on the matter, he did not explain why the Bill to amend Article 243 (1) was also withdrawn despite the fact that it had seeming bipartisan backing.
Ajumako: Journalist attacked for filming altercation at NPP constituency election
The Ajumako Police Command is investigating a case of assault on a reporter of the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Prince Acquah, by a mob for filming an altercation during the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Constituency executive election.
The altercation, which nearly marred the otherwise peaceful election at the Ajumako Campus of the University of Education, was over monies shared to the delegates for transportation.
They alleged they were “robbed” by some party executives who gave them GH¢20.00 instead of the GH¢50.00 communicated to them through a memo.
Mr. Acquah said he was recording the incident as part of his report on the election when some of the people saw him and accosted him.
His explanation of being a journalist with the GNA did not stop them from molesting him as they shoved him around in an attempt to seize his phone, but he resisted.
Mr. Acquah told the police that he was accused of being an agent of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who had infiltrated the ranks of the NPP to “destroy the party.”
“I have never met some of the attackers, but they insisted they knew me as a member of the NDC from the constituency and that my only mission there was to destroy the NPP,” he said.
“Like a criminal, I was pushed down again and landed on an anthill and had minor bruises on my left ankle,” he told this reporter.
The timely intervention by Mr. Jonathan Addo, a former Coordinator, Mr. Isaac Fosu, the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam Coordinator of the NPP, and some police officers on duty at the election centre saved the situation, Mr. Acquah said.
The police had to delete the video of the incident from his phone before the crowd would disperse, he said, and that the phone was later handed over to him and he left the centre without covering the elections.
He was given a police form to seek medical treatment.
2024 Polls: Mahama Is A Renewed Person, Will Make A Better President – Haruna Iddrisu
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has said that former President John Dramani Mahama is a renewed person competent to solve some of the challenges confronting the country when he becomes president again.
According to the legislator, Mr. Mahama has had the opportunity of serving as president and thus has the experience and knowledge to better steer the affairs of the country.
In an interview with Accra-based GH One TV, the Tamale South MP indicated that Mr. Mahama will make a better president.
He consequently charged the opposition National Democratic Congress to rally behind the former president as it heads into the next elections.
Haruna Iddrisu made the comments while evading commentary on rumours of his presidential ambitions.
“I have heard that and I have many commentaries and as I have indicated strongly, we need a front and we unite around President John Dramani Mahama as he then was to see how he recaptures power for the good of the Ghanaian people and to continue some of his worthy initiatives.
“What Ghanaians need to understand is upon hindsight President Mahama will make a better president having appreciated some of his own weaknesses and strengths while ruling…some challenges that obviously he could not deal with and some that today sitting back and observing and watching he’s in a better position to be able to fix many of those problems.
“So, he comes to a renewed person better prepared than he was before because he now has the benefit of hindsight…whiles in office, outside office…this is the way to go. And I think that the party should unite around him,” he said.
Haruna Iddrisu further urged the NDC to allow democratic processes to prevail in the lead up to the party’s internal contest.
He said that everyone who wishes to contest the former president for the flagbearership slot should be allowed to do so.
He however indicated that Mr. Mahama stood tall in terms of popularity.
“Nobody should close any door or any window or opportunity to any other person. We are a party of opportunity.
“The NDC gives opportunity to young people and therefore those who are desirous of running against him must be given fair and equitable opportunity and platform consistent with Article 55 of the 1992 Constitution where we must run the party to reflect democratic values and ethos.
“I believe that in terms of popularity, he is 90% ahead of those wanting to run against him and maybe they will run to share some 10% if he finally makes a declaration as I believe he has done,” Haruna Iddrisu added.
The NDC recently released a roadmap for the party’s internal elections.
Amongst many things, it has slated November this year to elect its flagbearer for the 2024 elections.
EC boss, deputies run to Supreme Court over petition demanding their removal
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa and her deputies –Dr. Eric Bossman Asare and Mr. Samuel Tettey– have run to the Supreme Court, over a petition by the #FixTheCountry Movement demanding their removal from office.
It comes on the back of the movement’s petition to the President to have the leadership of the electoral management body relieved of their post over the inability of the residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) to vote for a representative in Parliament.
Joined to the suit as first, second and third defendants are: Convener of the #FixTheCountry Movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, the Chief Justice and Attorney General.
The pressure group petitioned the President to remove from office the EC Chair and her deputies following the inability of the people of SALL to vote in the 2020 parliamentary election.
The #FixTheCountry movement contends that the conduct of the EC officials in the matter “meets the threshold of stated misbehaviour and, or incompetence as required under Article 146 of the 1992 Constitution for the removal of these officials”.
The petitioners say the actions and inaction of Madam Jean Mensa caused the people to lose their fundamental human rights.
There are 46 signatories to the petition, including residents of SALL.
“The Petitioners have faith that the normal constitutional processes contemplated by the Constitution to avenge infractions against it and our democracy will be upheld without fear nor favour; and that their standing as mere citizens of this Republic does not disable them from obtaining justice, in the preserve of our Constitution”, the group has said.
But the Chair of the EC and her two deputies in the writ asked the court to declare the action by the pressure group as unconstitutional.
The EC boss and her deputies among other things, want the Supreme Court to stop the movement from pushing through the petition.
Below are the reliefs sought by the EC leadership:
- A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of article 146(8)of the Constitution 1992, 1st defendant’s publication in the media (traditional and social) of the contents of Petitioners’ Petition to His Excellency, The President of the Republic., for the removal of 1st, 2nd & 3rd plaintiffs from office for stated misbehaviour and incompetence sins against article 146(8) of the Constitution 1992, and to that extent unconstitutional.
- A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of article 146(8) of the Constitution 1992, 2nd defendant is precluded from establishing a prima facie case or otherwise arising out of the contents of the said Petition lodged by the Petitioners.
- A declaration that the airing of the contents of the Petition by 1 defendant to the media (traditional and social) has subjected 1st, 2nd& 3rd plaintiffs to public ridicule, hatred, odium and opprobrium and equally exposed them to unfair prejudice.
- An order of perpetual injunction directed against 2nd defendant from determining, dealing, or having anything to do in any manner whatsoever and/or howsoever, with any issues arising out of the contents of Petitioners Petition or at all.
- Any further orders and/or directions as this Honourable Court may deem fit to give effect or enable effect to be given to the orders of this court.
Currently, SALL, which is in the Guan district, has no representation in Parliament after contentions over its inclusion in the Oti Region following its creation.
Some residents of Akpafu, then in the Hohoe Municipality, even boycotted the referendum that endorsed the creation of the Oti Region.
Oliver Barker-Vormawor, complained about the lack of transparency from the EC since the 2020 election.
“For over a year now, there has been no attempt to give clarity to why such grievous harm was done to our constitution,” he said.
Mr. Barker-Vormawor further said the actions of his group were meant to safeguard Ghana’s constitution.
“Our commitment is to restore the constitution and ensure that the constitution continues to survive when it is under attack by persons as high as persons occupying the Office of the Electoral Commission.”
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