The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that the Bill for the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution has been gazetted, to pave way for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
Delivering the State of Nation Address (SONA) on the occasion of Opening of Parliament, the President stated that the amendment will help in a direct and popular election, on partisan basis, of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
President Akufo-Addo added that it is expected that a Referendum will be held on the new Bill, alongside the Unit Assembly and District level elections in 2019.
Presenting his speech at the Plenary, the President called for a repetition of the bi-partisan support that made possible the hugely successful outcomes in the referenda for the new regions, to ensure the success of the impending referendum.
He revealed that a multidisciplinary panel of experts is being assembled to plan, assess cost, schedule and help implement a roadmap for the election of MMDCEs.
On the creation of some new MMDAs, President Akufo-Addo reiterated that there has been creation of thirty-eight Municipal and District Assemblies, and the elevation of twenty-nine Districts to the status of Municipalities.
He also added that the government has embarked on another aspect of ambitious decentralisation programme, to expand full democracy to local government.
Article 55(3) and the organisation of District Assemblies elections
The 1992 Constitution, in Article 55(3), gives the mandate for the organisation of political party elections.
However, the said provision in the 1992 Constitution excluded the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives.
Article 55(3) states that “Subject to the provisions of this Article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character, and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than to District Assemblies or lower local government units”.