May 17, 2021

Chief Director at the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA), Dr. Evans Aggrey-Darkoh has said he was disappointed that on the proposal to elect Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), there was no consensus among the NPP and NDC parliamentarians of the immediate past parliament.

According to him all the work that was done actually came to nothing because, the two top “dogs” could not agree on how it should be done, and President Nana Akufo-Addo literally had to withdraw the bill.

And further pointed out that, looking at the thresh hold of a referendum was very high a year into the 2020 elections, one would not want to risk going into a referendum that was going to be problematic.

“As a political scientist, if I were the one advising the president I would have advice him to withdraw at that time that we could not build consensus among the MPs in Parliament”.

In an interview on the subject matter he noted that going forward, it is an issue that should engage the attention of all of us. “We want participation in our democracy, but at what level do we want our people to participate, and it is an opportunity?”

He further noted that, election of MMDCEs would broaden participation and makes it easier, hence the need to revisit the issue ones again.

Dr. Aggrey-Darkoh was quick to point out that with the current composition of the 8th parliament, even if the idea is floated there should be building of consensus among the MPs, “mind you the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs does not have the numbers to play with and you would not want to burn your fingers”.

And revisiting the subject matter should come with consensus building among critical actors in this particular case NPP and NDC. He emphasised that we need it but the politicians would have to decide on that, “we can join the debate, these are the kind of discussions going forward”.

As it would offer the smaller political parties the opportunity to be part of governance, so that as a country we do not reduce the smaller parties into election machines that would become relevant only during elections, and after elections they go into hibernation and surface during elections, he said.

They should have a role to play in our governance process from day to day, that was one thing he suggested and added that the election of MMDCEs would be reactivated, when they touch on the constitutional conference that the Ministry is thinking about.

“So that too much power is not put in the hands of the Central government or a ruling party’s, this is a potential area that can deal with the winner takes all politics we have”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/