The Institute for Democratic Governance, IDEG has justified the inclusion of Political Parties in the Decentralized Local Governance system of the country.The institute also calls for the re-orientation of political parties to local governance after their inclusion has been legalised.This is because political parties are mobilizers of people to vote in elections.
At a workshop in Accra on the role of chiefs in a multi party local governance ststem, a member of IDEG Prof Atsu Ayee explained that the average turnout of local level elections of 30 per cent is as a result of the absence of political parties as compared to the 70 per cent average turnout at National elections where political parties are visible and vibrant. He called on Parliament to speed up the amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to allow the inclusion of polirical parties in local level elections.
The current state of Article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution prohibits political parties from taking part in District level and lower local government unit elections.
Its amnedment will come as a huge improvement in the quest to include chiefs in the local governance process.
The only local government structure in Ghana’s forth republic on which chiefs have a direct representation is the Regional co-ordinating Council.
Vice President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs Togbe Tepre Hodo bemaned how chiefs have been ignored in the past.
The inclusion of political parties in the process was also debated.A member of IDEG prof Atsu Ayee argued that the inclusion of political parties in the local government process will improve Ghana’s democracy
The institute is to hold a three day retreat of chiefs and queen mothers to brainstorm on a number of proposals on local governance and chieftaincy to find ways to include them in the process.
Story by Nathaniel Nartey