Ghana: Democracy, Good Governance Thrives On Political Parties - Governance Analyst

14 November 2019

A Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr Oduro Osae, has stated that democracy and good governance thrives on the work of political parties as they serve as vehicles to mobilise the citizenry to participate in elections.

"At the national level, we are able to hit 85 per cent turnout during elections but when it comes to the local level we are hitting 45 per cent, this is because of the absence of multi-partisan system, it does not allow our democracy to deepen at local levels, hence the need to engage them at local level for maximum participation.

"There is the need to change the current trend where governance at the local level has become one party system where ruling governments appoint Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and government appointees," Dr Osae indicated.

He was speaking at a training workshop organised for journalists at Nyanyano in the Central Region on the proposed government reforms, particularly on the constitutional, regulatory and political processes of the December 17, 2019 referendum and district level elections.

The workshop formed part of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) media-civil society organisations partnership for inclusive governance and was sponsored by Star-Ghana.

Journalists were taken through the proposed multi-party local governance reforms, conceptual issues of the amended Local Government Act 2016 (Act 936) among others.

"Voting 'Yes' is in the best interest of the citizenry to allow for growth and development at the local level as happening at the national level; at the national level where we allow political parties to participate, competition of ideas resulted in bringing development to the citizenry will be in their interest to vote 'Yes' for multiparty system to ensure development at local level.

"A Yes vote will get political parties on board to compete with party in government, through competition our local level democracy will deepen and the citizenry can hold political parties accountable for growth and development," Dr Osae reassured.

Dr Kwesi Jonah, Head of Advocacy and Institutional Relations at the Institute for Democratic Governance, observed that the citizenry could no longer pretend not to realise political parties were involved in elections at the local level and voting 'Yes' would allow them to participate.

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