President John Mahama has backed calls for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) but cautions that must be done gradually.

Although he supports the election of MMDCEs, Mr Mahama stressed, there is the need to tread cautiously to avoid politicisation of the programme as this has the potential to defeat the purpose for which the local governance system was created.

The President Mahama was speaking at the Flagstaff House when a coalition campaigning for the election of DCE?s (CED) called on him.

According to Mr Mahama, the election of MMDCEs is critical as it forms part of the gamut of issues needed to improve the local governance system.

He stated government issued a white paper after the work of the Constitutional Review Committee, it is Parliament that has to ensure this becomes a reality.

He explained that government?s position is that five people are vetted by the Public Services Commission and the number reduced to three. The three would then contest in an election for the position of MMDCE.

President Mahama said government would also have to consider whether to allow individuals to campaign to be elected as MMDCEs.

The current procedure for the nomination of MMDCEs starts from the President, and the nominee would have to secure the approval of two thirds of assembly members to be confirmed.

Recently, there have been demonstrations leading to the vandalisation of government property in Salaga in the Northern Region and Nkwanta North in the Volta Region against some of the President?s nominees for the position of MMDCEs.

President Mahama said the current agitations against some of the nominees suggest that people want greater say in who leads them and government is ready to make that possible.

The President commended members of CED for their advocacy role, and assured that government would study their petition and act swiftly on it. [GNA] 

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