GHANA SPEAKS: RECONSTRUCTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND MULTIPARTY CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY
19 October 2021
Between 2018 and 2019, the NPP government pursued the amendment of Article 55(3) and 243(1) in order to reform the local government system and devolve more power and resources to the local communities. However, the national referendum scheduled for December 17, 2019 was cancelled for lack of adequate public knowledge and broad-based consensus on the reforms it will entail.Since then, both the NPP government and the NDC opposition have restated their commitment to reset and pursue local government reforms in the mandate period 2021-2024 if elected.
However, the two parties’ agenda on local government differed somewhat.The NPP’s agenda on local government reforms include: (i) direct and popular election ofMetropolitan, Municipal, District Chief Executives (MMDCEs); (ii) legalization of political parties’ participation in local government; and (iii) devolution of more power and resources to local authorities ((NPP Elections 2020 Manifesto). In contrast the main opposition party NDC, made two proposals for local government reforms in its 2020 manifesto. These are: (i) election of MMDCE and (ii) implementing recommendations on local government and decentralization by the CRC/CRIC (NDC Elections 2020 Manifesto). Both positions will require constitutional amendment to enable their proposals to be implemented.
Also, since the 2020 elections, sections of the Ghanaian population especially the youth have expressed interest not only in the reform of local government but the framing of a new constitution.For instance, the Fix-the-Country Movement have called for a new constitution instead of amending the existing 1992 Constitution. Moreover, the results of the CDD-Ghana post-2020 election survey also present another view on the issue of constitutional amendment.Whilst an overwhelming 76% of Ghanaians want the election of MMDCEs, 71% of them want this election to be conducted on non- partisan basis. Indeed, only 20% of Ghanaians indicated their preference for the involvement of political parties in the elections of MMDCEs.
The facts so far show that Ghanaians are divided on the reform of the existing local government system and multiparty constitutional democracy. Apparently, there is no common agreement on how the system should be reformed and multiparty constitutional democracy strengthened after 29 years of the 4thRepublic. However, reforms require consensus. With the aim of contributing to building consensus on the way forward, the IDEG and its partners have decided to hold aGhana Speaks Lecture Series (GSLS)on the theme“Reconstructing Local Government and Multiparty Democracy in the 4thRepublic”.
• Bernard Avle, General Manager, Citi FM/TV
• Dr. Emmanuel O. Akwetey
• Mrs. Hamida Acquaah-Harrison
• Prof. Edward Kofi Quashigah
• Mr. Kwesi Jonah, Senior
• Nana Yaa Akyempim Jantuah
When: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021
Time: 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (GMT)
Where: Online, Zoom (Register here: https://bit.ly/3FLiwFm)
We look forward to your participation!