Local governance expert, Dr Eric Oduro Osae, says the postponement of a proposal by the governing NPP to elect MMDCEs indicates it was not a well thought-through campaign promise.
“I think initially, they thought it can be done easily. But having come into office and looked at the alternative and the way popular democracy or local level democracy can be deepened by expanding the scope and mandate of the people, they realized that they have to move it further,” he explained.
The postponement has heightened suggestions that the government will not be able to implement its campaign promise to reduce the President’s powers in local governance.
The NPP campaign promise was to allow Ghanaians to elect District Chief Executives instead of the current process where the president appoints all 254 district officers.
There was a timeline to this promise captured in chapter 13 of the governing party’s manifesto – it will be done within 24 months, That is by January 2019. President Nana Akufo-Addo was even more ambitious after promising to get it done in 2018.
But as far as its year-old mandate of the current administration is concerned, there is no longer a timeline for the promise.
The 2016 Progressive People’s Party (PPP) Presidential candidate is unhappy because his party also promised the same reform at the local government level, but it was the NPP that got the opportunity to execute it.
.”We have been promised it, we believed it…we liked it, we want it..but what is happening now gives us cause to worry” Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom addressed the media.
The government’s key defence has been that the process faces constitutional and legal hurdles which need more time to be addressed.