Fraught with peaked anger, apprehension and thick tension, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly on Wednesday night, voted for the second time to vehemently disapprove, Mr Ernest Arthur as the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE).
On Monday, September 27, Mr Arthur was rejected, after he secured 34 out of the 65 votes cast by the Assembly Members present, representing 52.3 per cent while 31 voted no representing 47.6 per cent.
As a commitment of her resolve to get the renominated MCE endorsed, Central Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, before the voting on Wednesday night, surprisingly knelt before the milling Assembly and asked for forgiveness on behalf of Mr Arthur, whom some Assembly Members had vowed to have him removed for being ‘disrespectful.’
The much-anticipated function, which was slated for 1600 hours on Wednesday, eventually started at 1945 hours amid serious negotiations and manipulation and ended around 2215 hours.
Mr Arthur, later garnered 40 YES votes against 25 NO votes representing 61.5 and 38.5 per cent respectively to show him the exit from the Assembly.
He needed 44 votes to secure the two-thirds majority as stipulated in the Local Government Act 2016, (Act 936).
Some political party big wigs from both divide, including Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Commission and Mr Kweku Ricketts Hagan, Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South were present to monitor proceedings.
The Regional Minister’s action received a mixed reaction from the political divide as some described her as being populist, others saw the act as a slap in the face of Ghana’s enviable democratic credentials.
“It is so unfortunate that the Regional Minister will kneel and plead for leniency and forgiveness as against the people’s right to decide on whom they want according to their conscience,” one Assemblyman remarked.
“Mrs Assan’s action is good. It showed she is ready to work with the MCE to-be, for growth and development. Let us support them, after, if they win, Cape Coast wins,” some assemblymen observed.
At the peak of the event, particularly after the vote counts, many political party stalwarts from both sides of the political divide were seen in a pensive mood and in brisk attempts to bring their charged party members who had thronged the venue, to order to avoid chaos.
Many others, who were there to observe the exercise, were flabbergasted at the turn of events.
Mr Richard Asenso, the Metro Electoral Officer, announced a third voting exercise, which was immediately objected to by some Assembly Members who found the action as ultra vires to the regulated law but was resolved after hours.
However, a new election would take place in 21 days following the local government law.