Fifteen political parties were on Tuesday named to participate in stakeholders' consultation to develop a workable, consensus-oriented agenda to accelerate the decentralisation reform process.
Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, said the Political Party Decentralisation Platform (PPDP) was also to develop a blueprint on the position of the District Chief executives, accountability of the assemblies, application of the District Assemblies' Common Fund, relations between various actors in the assemblies system and equipping assembly members to perform their roles.
The participants will also consider the state, size and performance of the local government sub-structures, Mr Afriyie Ankrah told newsmen in Accra as part of engagement process on national consultation on the "Twenty Years of Decentralisation and Local Governance in Ghana."
He said the PPDP was aimed at building a non-partisan blueprint that would be carried out irrespective of which political tradition is in government.
"We will reflect on the performance of the assembly system over the past 20 years, examine the interpretations of concept of decentralisation and generate positions for the way forward," he said.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah said though the focus of the PPDP consultation would be on reforming decentralisation in the foreseeable future, efforts would also be made to distil issues for proposed legislative and constitutional reform.
The parties to participate in the PPDP are the National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party, Convention People's Party), Democratic People's Party, EGLE Party, Great Consolidated Popular Party and the National Reform Party.
The rest are: Ghana Democratic Republican Party, Democratic Freedom Party, Ghana National Party, People's National Convention, United Renaissance Party, New Vision Party, Reformed Patriotic Democrats and United Love Party (ULP).
Identifiable bodies to participate in the consultation are traditional rulers, local governance experts, media practitioners, parliamentarians, gender-based groups and special interest groups.
The Deputy Minister noted that over 20 years' implementation of the decentralised process had exposed the need to clarify and agree on operational interpretation of the concept as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution which made political and administrative decentralisation imperative.
He said the PPDP consultation would provide an opportunity for government and local government experts to reflect on the changing national and international socio-economic, technological and political environment and its implication for local level development.
Answering questions from newsmen, the Deputy Minister supported by Directors of the Ministry said the Local Government Service would continue to pursue institutional decentralisation embarked upon over three years ago.
On the election of District Chief Executives, Mr Afriyie- Ankrah said the position was very delicate.
"The NPP which propagated the agenda of electing DCEs ruled for eight years but failed to implement it.
"In fact, after eight years of being the President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor on leaving office advised against electing DCEs..NDC One and NDC Two's position has been to the maintain system as it operates now."
He urged the media to participate in the process by submitting papers and articles to enrich the process of consultation. "You should not only report on the process but take active role."
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