The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panyin has released a statement endorsing a YES vote in the upcoming referendum on political parties’ participating in the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
Citing the reasons for his support for a YES vote, he stated that he believes a YES vote would take some executive powers from the president to the people, which he thinks provide the needed space for greater citizen participation in governance.
This statement follows the public support for a NO vote by the Agbogbomefia of Asogli, and president of the National House of chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV.
The full statement read:
OKYENHENE ENDORSES THE YES VOTE FOR THE DECEMBER 17H REFERENDUM
18H NOVEMBER, 2019
The Okyenhene and President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs wishes to express his
support for the amendment of article 55(3) of the Constitution which will provide the choice
for Ghanaians to contest for local government office on either partisan or non-partisan platforms.
The Osagyefuo welcomes the amendment with the understanding that it limits the executive
authority of the President and thus provide the needed space for greater citizen participation
Political parties are established and recognized public platforms that shapes, plans and evolve
strategies and ideas for social economic development, and cannot be excuded in the crucial area of local government.
Political party participation in local government politics is practiced all over the world; Ghana cannot remain an exception.
Under the current system, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCES) are appointed by a partisan President who also by unchecked discretion chooses a third of the membership of the Assembly.
Most MMDCES are rejected partisan politicians at the polls (defeated parliametary candidates) who later by intrigues and back door tactics of central government impose themselves on the people.
A clear example can be sighted in the fact that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was rejected in
the Volta Region in 2016, however it places its defeated parliamentary candidates as
Okyeman Te Ase..