The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has asked all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) with parliamentary ambitions to resign their positions by the end of this year.
The National Council directive is targeted at MMDCEs in constituencies where the NPP has sitting Members of Parliament (MPs).
Acting NPP General Secretary John Boadu said the decision is aimed at averting a replay of the “apprehension”, mudslinging and hostilities that characterized the party’s parliamentary primaries in the past.
Some MMDCEs during the tenure of President John Agyekum Kufuor in 2008 aggressively contested some sitting MPs, creating a situation where defeated aspirants went as independent candidates.
The cohesion in the party suffered, but the NPP has taken pre-emptive measures in order to avoid a repeat of what happened in the past.
The 5th National Council General Meeting resolved that MMDCEs who are eyeing parliamentary seats have to step down three years before the 2020 general elections.
Mr Boadu told Gifty Andoh Appiah on Joy FM’s Top Story Wednesday, the term of office of all constituencies, regional and national party executives have also been extended by three months.
But local government expert Dr Eric Oduro Osae said the directive to MMDCEs could undermine their human rights.
He said because Ghanaians have the political "right to vote" and be voted for, any decision that affects the enjoyment of that is against their human rights.
Although he admitted the decision helps the NPP to separate “party management from governance”, Dr Oduro Osae asked the party to consider extending it to all the constituencies.
But Mr Boadu said theoretically the general application of the rule as suggested by Dr Osae will be fine, but practically it is not possible.
“In some places getting people to contest is very difficult,” he said.