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Resign if you win district level election – Local Government Services tells staff

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Resign if you win district level election - Local Government Services to staff

The Local Government Service has reminded Civil and Local Government Staff who are contesting the December 19 District Level Elections to resign from the Service should they win the elections.

The Office said although members of the Civil Service or Local Government Service had the right to contest the elections, the Constitution barred them from holding office as Assembly Members whiles in service.

Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of the Local Government Service, told the Ghana News Agency that successful civil servants, who were sworn into office as Assembly Members, must resign or would be removed from the Service.

The position of the Service takes inspiration from a 2017 Supreme Court ruling on a case involving the Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana versus the Attorney General.

The court case was occasioned by a letter from the Head of Civil Service and addressed to “All Chief Directors” and “All Heads of Departments”, which barred persons holding civil service positions from participating in elections among other political activities.

The Supreme Court in its interpretation of articles 12(2), 21(1)(a) and (d), 21(3), 35(6) 55(1),(2) and (10) and 284 of the Constitution, ruled that “a member of the Civil Service or Local Government Service has the right to contest in local government elections whilst still a member of the Civil Service or Local Government Service.”

“However, on a true and proper interpretation of articles 12(2), 21(1)(a) and (d), 21(3), 35(6) 55(1),(2) and (10) and 284 of the Constitution, a member of the Civil Service or Local Government Service does not have the right to remain a member of the Civil Service or Local Government Service after being sworn in as a member of a District Assembly,” the Court said.

Nana Arthur said following the ruling, four out of eight of its staff, who participated in the last District Level Elections were removed from the Service, while four others, who resigned from their Assembly positions had re-joined the Service.

“Staff of Civil Service can become Assembly members. But for you to be committed to your salary dutifully, you should resign from the local government service so that your functional responsibility at local government or civil service wouldn’t contradict that of the Assembly member.

“You have the right to contest but immediately you win and sworn in, you should resign from local government service,” he said.

Nana Arthur said Assembly Members played significant roles in their respective electoral areas especially in rural areas and advocated the payment of stipends to facilitate their work and motivate them to do more.

He rallied the public to take the upcoming district level elections seriously and participate in it to help build effective local government architecture.

“The national effects are the total of the local effects. If you build the local democracy very well, it reflects at the national level.

“If you have very good district assemblies with competent assembly members, that should be the best in our democratic dispensation,” Nana Arthur said.

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