In the upcoming District Level Elections scheduled for Tuesday, December 19, 2023, a staggering 66,200 individuals are set to compete for various positions, according to the Electoral Commission (EC).
The elections will span all districts in the country, excluding Nkoranza North and Nkoranza South in the Bono East Region.
Voters across the nation will participate in selecting assembly members and unit committee members who will serve for the next four years.
Data from the EC reveals that these elections will be conducted in 6,215 electoral areas.
Among the extensive pool of contestants, approximately 18,750 are vying for Assembly Member positions, while a larger contingent of 47,500 seeks to secure unit committee memberships.
The Ashanti Region leads with the highest number of candidates, boasting 3,794 individuals competing for the coveted Assembly member position and 9,314 for the Unit Committee Election.
In contrast, the Greater Accra Region records 1,340 candidates for Assembly Elections and 4,607 for the Unit Committee Election.
However, concerns about historically low voter turnout in district-level elections compared to General Elections have emerged.
Since 1988, the national voter turnout for District Level Elections has remained below 40%, while General Elections, featuring presidential and parliamentary candidates, have averaged a 70% turnout since 1992.
Experts have suggested the involvement of political parties in district-level elections to boost public interest and resource mobilization.
Political parties are restricted from participating in local-level elections by Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution, an entrenched clause prohibiting party politics in local governance.
Previous attempts to amend this provision through a planned referendum in 2019 faced challenges due to a lack of consensus among key stakeholders.
As Ghana prepares for these critical local government elections, questions persist about the future direction of political participation at the grassroots level.
The outcome on December 19, 2023, could potentially reignite discussions around the role of political parties in local governance.