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Politics of Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Source: GNA

BIA blames controversy over MMDCES on personal interests

The Bureau for Internal Affairs (BIA), an anti-corruption organisation, has attributed the agitations surrounding the nomination of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to the inherent corruption in the assemblies.

A statement issued by Mr Mohammed Frimpong, Executive Secretary of BIA in Accra on Monday and copied to Ghana News Agency, claimed that some MMDCEs influenced their way to get the two-thirds they need to get the nod.

“When their term ends; and they are seeking re-election, some assembly members who are in to make money put impediments on their way until they pay their way out.

“It is a vicious cycle engulfing the MMDCEs, hence the need to reverse the trend.

“Some of the president’s nominees are not rejected because they are not good materials, it is simply for personal interests and this trend is dangerous for the country’s local government system,” the statement said.

It said the exercise of the president’s prerogative to nominate and appoint chief executives eventually gets entangled in deep corruption involving some assembly members who must exercise their power of approval.

“Such a process does not give finality to the prerogative of the president for this process.

“In fact, the Fourth Republic has so far not laid a foundation for participatory democracy as indicated in the Article 35 (6) (d) of the 1992 Constitution, festering the rot of open the appointment of chief executives.”

The statement said: “Even though government has expressed the desire to organise elections for nominees as chief executives, these sacred manifesto pledge never sees the light of the day. The simple way for all governments in future will be to put all their nominees to an election.

“Once chief executives are to be elected, the approval function of assembly members dies a natural death as it shall no longer be relevant through the elections by universal adult suffrage.

“In effect, governments must show commitment to the spirit and overriding purpose of decentralisation in overwhelming participatory democracy being the cornerstone for the organic growth of the 1992 constitution. It stands to reason that all governments under the fourth republic must take a cue from the growing turmoil and agitations over the appointment of chief executives.”

BIA therefore sees the problem more as open ended and can be eradicated by the proposals to correctly implement Article 35 (6) (d) by universal adult suffrage and local structures to deepen participatory democracy.

The Bureau is an anti-corruption organisation and a centre for information gathering on public concerns with the aim of bridging the communication gap between the public and the authorities on issues negatively affecting the nation.