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MMDCEs referendum major step for local dev’t – IDEG boss

Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) has described the upcoming referendum on political party involvement in local level elections as phenomenal urging Ghanaians to vote ‘yes’ on December 17.

Among personalities who are hoping a ‘yes’ vote wins the day are President Akufo-Addo and former EC Boss Afari Gyan.

Dr Akwetey believes a ‘yes’ victory will be the beginning of better engagement in development at the local level.

Speaking on Starr FM’s ’shaping the nation’, he acknowledged the support the referendum is receiving, especially from past presidents.

He said “the presidents’ decision, the support he’s gotten from the former presidents, the fact that the two major parties in parliament and all the other minority parties are supporting this, the support is growing and it takes that space for conversation for us to know that we are not electing MMDCE’s by article 55(3). 55(3) actually deals with assemblies, it is 24(3) that deals with MMDCE’s.”

“But once you do the two, parties will get involved because MMDCEs to be elected is part of local government. This is in itself is phenomenal, a new change because we’ve not been electing our Mayors in our history,” he said.

According to him, local government is where the public interest comes into communities. “That is where tax payer’s monies are spent, so it’s not a profit making zone generally but it is also important to develop the local economies,” he said.

He added “when you keep parties out of this arena for as long as 60 years, you have deprived them of the very important environment within which they would learn how to govern and how to interact with us and solve the problems.”

Meanwhile, Legal practitioner and lawyer Samson Lardi Anyenini is canvassing against a ‘yes’ vote in the December 17 referendum which seeks to allow political party participation in local elections in the country.

According to him, allowing political parties in local elections will further compromise and deepen the political divisiveness in the country.

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