The election of the Presiding Member of the Bibiani-Anwhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly has been slated for March 29, Mr Daniel Botwe, the Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, has said.
He said the Bibiani-Anwhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly had been without a presiding member since January 2020, when the Assembly was inaugurated.
This was because of a writ filed by an aggrieved Assembly Member.
He said following the lapse of the tenure of presiding members across the country in February 2022, a stakeholder committee, comprising assembly members, heads of departments and chiefs in the area was convened to discuss the way forward, which culminated in the injection being set-aside by the court to enable the Electoral Commission (EC) conduct election.
Mr Botwe made this known on the floor of Parliament in his response to an urgent question by Mr Alfred Obeng-Boateng, Member of Parliament for Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai, who asked the Minister when the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly would conduct election to elect a Presiding Member.
The Minister said the Model Standing Orders on the election of the presiding member of an assembly indicated that if a candidate failed to obtain two-thirds of all votes of members of the assembly in two consecutive run-offs held within 10 days after the first run-off, the two candidates should step aside for fresh nominations.
Mr Botwe said the Assembly Member who failed to garner two-thirds of the votes refused to be barred from running again for the position of the Presiding Member for Bibiani-Anwhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly.
He proceeded to file a suit at the Sefwi-Wiaso High Court on the grounds that the Bibiani-Anwhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly had not expressly adopted the major standing orders for District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies (MMDAs), gazetted on 12th July, 2019.
He said the Assembly Member further went to file interlocutory injection restraining the Coordinating Director of the Bibiani-Anwhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly and the EC from convening any further meetings for the purposes of electing a Presiding Member.
Mr Obeng-Boateng again asked the Minister what measures the Ministry had put in place to ensure that the people of Bibiani-Anwhwiaso-Bekwai Municipality catch-up with other Municipalities, having being starved of development for almost 27 months.
The Minister noted that the stakeholders in the Municipality had met and that the court injection had being set-aside; so, the way was now clear and they would therefore, follow the processes as enshrined in the Model Standing Orders and that by what the Coordinator Director had communicated to him, on the 29th of March 2022, Bibiani-Anwhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal Assembly should elect a Presiding Member.