Minority accuses government of undermining district assemblies

Ghana Parliament
Ghana Parliament

The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament has accused government of using its powers to form the electoral college instead of allowing Districts Assemblies to nominate two persons for the election of members of the Council of State.

According to them there were situations where the acting MMDCEs and Presiding members have constituted themselves as the two representatives of the assembly and sent their names to the various Regional Coordinating Councils to form the Electoral College to elect members of the Council of State.

However, the Majority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament has describe the minority’s allegation as false and challenge them to back their claims with evidence.

Mr Nii Lante Vanderpuje, Ranking Member on Local Government and Rural Development, addressing the minority press briefing in Parliament House, described the government’s action on the local governance system as an attempt by the NPP government to mutilate the country’s democratic credentials.

He quoted Article 89(1) (c) of the Constitution, which state members of the Council of State are either appointed by the President and others are elected by an electoral college that is constituted by a nomination of two persons from the various District Assemblies.

Mr Vanderpuje also alleged that they had received reports from all the assemblies across the country of attempts by government to use its authority to choose its own representatives to form the Electoral College instead of constituting an assembly meeting for the assemblies themselves to nominate two people to form the Electoral College.

He said over the period the committee on Local Government and Rural Development overlook the infractions of the government on the development of the local governance system of the country.

He said the minority have also recognized over the past few days since the announcement of the constitution of the members of the Council of State that there were attempt by the government to further erode the sanctity and respect that had to be accorded the local governance system.

“We are not going to allow this happen, we want this government to act within the constitution…we don’t want them to continue with the impunity they exhibited in the time past when it comes to the issues of local governance”.

Mr Frank Annor-Dompreh, Majority Chief Whip, in response to the minority’s claim noted that there were certain falsehoods being put out without evidence.

He said their checks from some of the District Assemblies shows there was no evidence that government was directly involve in handpicking delegates for the Electoral College.

He acknowledged that though in some districts, District Chief Executives and Presiding Members were being chosen as delegates, however there was nothing wrong with it if the assemblies decided that those people should represent them on the Electoral College.

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