Home Ghana News Assault on democracy – FiftyPercent PlusOne over MMDCE bill withdrawal

Assault on democracy – FiftyPercent PlusOne over MMDCE bill withdrawal

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The government’s decision to withdraw the Bill to
amend Article 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution which allows the president to
appoint the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives
(MMDCEs) has received severe criticisms.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a televised
address called for the withdrawal of the Bill after he directed the
cancellation of the December 17 referendum to amend Article 55(3) which was to
allow political parties to file candidates for district-level elections.

“It is with deep regret that I have given
instructions to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development…to abort
the process and see to the withdrawal of the Bills for the amendment of the
Constitutions both in respect of Article 243(1) and Article 55(3),” he told the
nation.

But pro-democracy group, FiftyPercent PlusOne has
described the move as “an assault on democratic norms and values that provide
the guardrails of Ghana’s governance system.”

“The onslaught by political actors on Ghana’s
democracy and social fabric must be fiercely resisted,” the group said in a
statement Monday.

“You cannot make a promise to the people of Ghana
with your right hand leading to your election as president of the country only
to take it back with another. This is purely a case of bad faith.”

The appointment of the Metropolitan, Municipal and
District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) is done by the president with the prior
approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the assembly
present and voting at the meeting.

The amendment of Article 243(1) which was a major
campaign promise of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is intended to
allow Ghanaians to elect their own MMDCEs. But the president has directed the
process to be halted until such a time when it would be appropriate to continue
with it.

FiftyPercent PlusOne said the decision by the
government is “ill-conceived, ill-advised, ill-timed, ill-motivated and a great
disservice to the entire country.”

“The president needs to explain to Ghanaians why he
decided to discontinue the changes to Article 243(1) after he failed to achieve
national consensus on the amendment of Article 55 (3),” the group said, adding.
“Ghanaians must protect their political freedom from slipping away.”



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