Impress on your MPs to approve bill to amend Article 243(1) – Dr. Oduro Osae – Ghanaians have been urged to impress on their Members of Parliament (MPs) to approve the Bill to amend Article 243(1) to enable them to take power from the President to elect Chief Executives of the local assemblies.
Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, A Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) who urged them recalled that the decision to facilitate the process to amend the bill was one of the important messages of all political parties, hence the need to impress on parliamentarians to approve it.
“The NPP, NDC, PPP, and others had it in their manifesto and promised in the 2016 election to facilitate the election of the MMDCEs if they win so if parliamentarians today refuse to approve it they have failed all Ghanaians,” he stated.
Dr. Osae was speaking at a training workshop organized at Nyanyano in the Central Region for selected journalists on the constitutional, regularly and political process leading to the December 17 Referendum and District Assembly Elections.
The Training was organized by the GJA under the GJA-STAR-Ghana Project.
He noted that Article 291 on the amendment of the non-entrenched articles of the constitution requires that “to amend a non-entrenched provision, a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3rds) majority of all members of parliament shall be required.”
“This article 243(1) which is before parliament is an entrenched one and so if the majority of the parliamentarians vote to approve it then they can amend the article and would have fulfilled their promise to Ghanaians.”
Speaking on the upcoming December 17 National Referendum and District Assembly Elections, Dr Osae stated that it was quite disappointing to hear parliamentarians campaigning a ‘No’ vote for the referendum to amend Article 55(3) which sought to introduce multi-partisan system into the elections at the local level.
He stated that those campaigning for a ‘No’ vote are doing so because of their own parochial selfish interest and were not mindful of the many benefits it would bring to the nation and how it would deepen democracy and ensure development at the local level.”
He stated that the multiparty system was already being practiced at the national level adding that it was bringing about the necessary development hence the need to do the same for the local level whose development is on the low.
He, however, called on the media to adequately educate Ghanaians on the issues and encouraged them to vote ‘Yes’ and impress on their MPs to approve the bill to amend Article 243(1).
Impress on your MPs to approve bill to amend Article 243(1) – Dr. Oduro Osae
For his part, Dr. Kwesi Jonah, A Senior Research Fellow and Head of Advocacy and Institutional Relations at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) urged parliamentarians to approve the bill in time to make MMDCEs responsible and accountable to the people.
The President of the Ghana Journalist Association, (GJA) Mr. Affail Monney urged media houses to redouble efforts at educating Ghanaians to understand the issues relating to the referendum.
The Programmes Manager for the GJA-STAR-Ghana Project, Mr. Kojo Impraim emphasized the need for the media to collaborate with Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to ensure that aspirations of the people at the local level were realized.
Ama Takyiwa Ampadu Agyeman:
Ghanaian Times in the Eastern Region