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General News of Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Source: Inform Ghana

IEA survey reveals direct support for election of MMDCES

A majority of Ghanaians representing 67 percent of respondents are calling for the election of MCE/DCEs instead of Presidential appointments, a survey by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on Decentralization and Local Government reveals.
On the issues of whether Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) / District Chief Executive (DCE) should be appointed by the president or elected by their people, 67 percent of 1,200 respondents favoured the election of MCE/DCEs while 30 percent were in disagreement and about 3 percent were indifferent.
Respondents for this survey were drawn from people who had participated in the District consultative workshops of the Constitution Review Commission. Participants in these workshops were drawn from various civil society groups, recognised professional associations, opinion leaders and the public. 1, 200 respondents were surveyed across 120 districts in the country.
Some 1,134 people were also surveyed which formed the interpretation of this survey.
Respondents in the Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions were least in favour of the election of MCE/DCEs with 51 percent and 60 percent support from the two regions respectively. However, 85 percent of respondents in the Brong Ahafo Region were in overwhelming support of the election of DCEs.
Meanwhile, those who supported the current system of MCE/DCEs appointment by the President also want a change in the modality. They requested that the President should nominate three candidates instead of one for the Assembly, or even the whole electorate within the district, to vote on.
At a Constitutional Review series held in August 2013 under the theme “rethinking Ghana’s winner-takes all system,” the IEA noted that “there should be effective and truly decentralized local governance.”
To this end, they called for the Metropolitan and District Chief Executives be elected directly so that parties that lose power at the national level may still have the opportunity of winning power at the local level and participate in the governance of the country.