Government lays bill for election of District Chief Executives

The government on Wednesday laid a Bill in Parliament to allow for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the country.

The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018, which was read for the first time, is to amend Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution to provide for a district chief executive to be elected by universal adult suffrage within a district.

Its approval into law will end the current constitutional arrangement which empowers the President to appoint MMDCEs.

Article 243 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, stipulates that: “There shall be a District Chief Executive for every district who shall be appointed 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.”

A Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, Wednesday laid the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018 on behalf of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo.

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, referred the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report.

After its deliberations, the committee will recommend to the House to either pass the Bill into law or reject it.

If the decision is for approval and the House so determines, the Bill will be read a second time and then taken through the consideration stage before it is read a third time and passed.

Campaign promise

The election of MMDCEs is one of the key campaign promises of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 election.

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When he won the election, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo affirmed his resolve to follow the constitutional process to have the election of MMDCEs.

Functions of MMDCEs

Per Article 243(2) of the Constitution, the District Chief Executive shall preside at meetings of the Executive Committee of the Assembly; be responsible for the day-to-day performance of the executive and administrative functions of the District, and be the chief representative of the Central Government in the District.