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Politics of Friday, 23 September 2016


NDC, PPP asked to review manifestos

The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) has urged the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition Progressive People’s Party (PPP) to take a second look at their manifestos with a view to making “categorical, specific and more binding statements that are smart enough to deepen decentralization and local governance in Ghana.”

CLGA made the call in a statement signed by its Acting Executive Director, Vladimir Antwi Danso, saying the review processes should allow for the manifestos “…to cover all aspects of the decentralization system which should look at fiscal and administrative decentralization.”

CLGA indicated, “We would like to briefly comment on the manifestos of the ruling NDC and PPP and appeal to them to beef up their plate with some suggestions that we’re humbly, through this medium, offering.”

It said, “These concerns the following that the NDC intends to roll out: the implementation of the National Decentralization Policy (NDAP) Framework II (2015 – 2019) and the National Plan II (2015 – 2019).”

The statement asserted, “It is our humble opinion that as a ruling government, the NDC should have concentrated on achieving the outstanding activities under the NDAP Framework and the accompanying Action Plan, due for implementation from 2017 – 2019.”

“We were expecting concrete and/or categorical statements on this, with specifics on how they would prioritize decentralization and local governance after the expiration of the current framework in 2019,” CLGA said in the statement.

On the Constitutional Review Commission’s (CRC’s) recommendations to pay allowances to assembly members, CLGA said that “on this, the NDC, in its manifesto only promised to ‘initiate processes to implement the commission’s recommendations on allowances to assembly members.’”

The organization contended, “We view this promise as non-committal and lacking the expected seriousness that needs to be attached to the work of the assembly members. Incidentally, the CRC recommendations have already been overtaken by a government White Paper on the said recommendations.”

It said the NDC also needs to come to Ghanaians again and explain in detail its promise of ensuring that the positions of MMDCEs are made electable.

“Eloquently promised in the manifesto is the CRC’s recommendation to have MMDCEs elected. The CLGA wants the NDC to come again,” it charged.

On President John Mahama’s promise to create five new regions, the statement indicated, “The CLGA is of the view that this promise is not specific and doesn’t commit the government enough to deliver on that promise.

Turning to the PPP, the organization underscored, “The CLGA also takes note of the decentralization and local governance promise of the PPP on page 14 of their manifesto on ‘sharing power with people’ under which they promise to ensure the election of all MMDCEs and assembly members.

“In the view of the CLGA, this is a good promise that if implemented will lead to deepening local level democracy. However, the CLGA encourages the PPP to be very categorical in the code of electing the DCEs and assembly members.

“The standard required mode needed to deepen local level democracy and popular participation is when they are elected by popular votes on universal adult suffrage basis. The PPP is also encouraged to review its manifesto to cover all aspects of decentralization system which should look at fiscal and administrative decentralization.”