The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Osei Bonsu Amoah, says President Akufo-Addo is concerned about the delay in appointing Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in his second administration.
Mr Amoah, speaking on PM Express on Tuesday, stated that if the President had his way, such portfolios would be determined through an election.
“The President has been complaining that if he had his own way, we should be electing these MMDCEs. But he has to go through the report which has been submitted by his team and he got the report less than two weeks ago so I don’t think that you may say that there is too much delay,” he said.
Interacting with host, Aisha Ibrahim, the Deputy Minister of Local Government bemoaned the lengthy process the country will have to undergo if two-thirds of representatives at the assembly level do not approve the nominees.
“I know people are anxious because they want to see their MMDCEs in place.
“By the constitution, the President will have to nominate them and then the assembly will have to endorse them by two-thirds and if they fail, it means we have to start all over again. That is the system we have now and we may have to work with it.”
On the matter, Ranking Member on Parliament’s Local Government Committee, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, described the situation as worrying.
Also speaking on the show, he said: “The delay to be frank with you is not good for the development of the country. It is not good for the image of the government and it is making the work of some of us who are so much interested in local governance very difficult.”
In response, Mr Amoah stated that reports indicating the delay is about eight months are inaccurate.
He explained that the majority of the MMDCEs’ term of office expired somewhere in May or June and not in January this year because they came into office around May or June in 2017.
“I don’t think reports on eight months delay in appointing MMDCEs is very accurate. As at January 7, 2021, almost all the MMDCEs had not served their full term of four years and if you look at the Presidential Transition Act 2012, they are not part of the persons who should hand over by January 7. So after January 7, they are still in office. Some came into office in April 2017, others even in June 2017.
“So their four-year term would obviously have ended in June or May so if you start counting from January, then you say it is eight months late, probably some persons may take what you are saying but it is not entirely accurate. If there should be any delay, we should probably start counting from May and June.”
But Mr Nii Lantey Vanderpuye insists that the delay in appointing the MMDCEs is eight months since the President has the mandate to either fire or hire as well as maintain any MMDCE.
“If the President had the power to fire and hire, as the constitution says, you and I agree that the President can do that even in January, February. So the President could have made the choices in January and February. The President cannot have the prerogative of delaying all of us and our development.
“He can’t do things at his whims and caprices when we have the constitution,” he concluded.