April 21, 2017

Former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon Joseph Yieleh Chireh says election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) will solve unnecessary rivalry with Members of Parliament (MP’s) but the Constitution is making it difficult for it to happen.

He said despite the promise by President Nana Akufo-Addo to see to election of MMDCEs next year, the hurdles are too many, because it will require Constitutional amendment.

Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh 11Mr. Yieleh Chireh in an interview with Ghanamps.com also noted that even as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has majority in Parliament, they do not have 2/3 majority which means they cannot take a decision without us. If they open it up there will be no confusion, people will gladly embrace it and it will help a long way to reduce the tension.

Again with our current Constitution when you become a Member of Parliament you are likely to become a Minister, as human as we are we all aspire to get to the National level. Except in the case of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) they control budget bigger than some Ministries he remarked.

“However as a former Minister, the likely problem I envisage we are likely to have in the future is an elected MMDCEs who is not in the same party of the sitting President”, he stated.

His comments come in the wake of most MMDCE aspirants alleging that most sitting MP’s on the majority side are lobbying for their preferred candidates to be appointed every passing week.

Once they become Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCE’s) they can mobilize resources and contest siting MPs at their primaries that is the first fear, again some of them make the Constituency or the District very difficult for sitting MP’s not contesting but political mobilization, he noted.

“Rivalry between sitting MPs and aspirant MMDCEs is that, some of the aspirant are not doing well in their interviews at various levels and they think their MP’s are behind this. In addition they think once the MPs are in Accra they will influence the leadership of the party not to select them”, he said. Unfortunately the contestant MMDCEs are people who will have contested or supported others to contest the sitting MP in the primaries before the general election so obviously those tension will be there.

He pointed out that the MPs are sometimes also over reacting, adding that it is not so easy for MMDCEs to become MPs because though they work closely with the people, only those who excel are rewarded. In 2008, NPP put out 30 former DCEs who contested for Parliament but only two (2) were able to make it.

“When we were in the majority we also had similar problems, we knew MMDCE’s who were interested in contesting us and because elections have become expensive whoever is able to mobilize resource is the one to fear”.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com