Former President John Dramani Mahama has suggested that assembly members should be paid an allowance.
This in his view will increase the interest in their elections because they will become more competitive.
Mr Mahama further suggested to the Commission to advertise the district-level elections the way it does for presidential and parliamentary polls.
This, in his view, will get more people aware of, and interested in the district assembly elections.
Asked what could be done to raise the interest of Ghanains in the district assembly elections after casting his ballot in the ongoing elections in his electoral area in Bamoboi, on Tuesday, December 19, he said “There is a lot more communication with the presidential and parliamentary elections. Those elections attract a lot more interest than the assembly elections. The assembly elections, traditionally, since we started the district assembly have always had a lower turnout than presidential and parliamentary elections.
“But I do think that if we communicate and advertise those elections further and if we make our decentralization deeper and put more resources into it, it will make people more interested in it. For instance, if we start paying assembly members an allowance it is going to increase interest in those elections, I think it will be a keener contest than they currently are.”
Mr Mahama told the Electoral Commission (EC) to organize itself well to avoid the technical challenges witnessed in some electoral areas in the ongoing district-level elections from happening in the 2024 general elections.
He says the national elections, the presidential and parliamentary polls, are more emotive hence the commission must do well to prevent the technical hitches from happening.
Speaking to journalists after casting his ballot in the ongoing district-level elections in Bole on Tuesday, December 19, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said “Unfortunately I hear there are glitches in many places. It is my hope that the EC will get its acts together because we know that national, presidential, and parliamentary s are more emotive, and if people go to the polls on 7th December 2024 and some of these glitches occur it will lead to a lot of chaos and so the EC has to get its acts together.”
The commission has rescheduled the district-level elections in some Electoral areas in the Eastern Region to Thursday, December 21.
This is due to a number of technical challenges encountered at the start of voting on Tuesday, December 19. The commission assured votes in the affected areas that they will cast their ballots on the new date. The commission urged all Ghanaians to fully participate in the exercise.
Addressing the press in Accra on Monday, December 18, the Chair of the Commission Mrs Jean Adukwei Mensa said “Experience over the years shows that this election is not highly participated in. Let us make this election meaningful.
“We are all aware that developments start at the district level and therefore it is important that as citizens, we have a say and a stake in who brings development to our various districts.”
The Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development, Dan Botwe, also made a similar appeal to Ghanaians.
“We know the turnout for district-level elections in the country in previous years has been extremely low, but we are targeting at least 50 percent turnout this time around and we want all, irrespective of party affiliation, to go to the polls in their numbers on the day to cast their ballot,” he told TV3.