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General News of Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Make assembly polls partisan – Oduro-Osae

Dr Eric Oduro-Osae Dr Eric Oduro-Osae

The time has come for the election of assembly members to be done along partisan lines, the Dean of Graduate Studies of the Institute of Local Government Studies, Dr Eric Oduro-Osae, has suggested.

His suggestion follows the failure of members of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to elect a Presiding Member after the fifth attempt on Tuesday September 27.

The Assembly has been split as supporters of both candidates: Nana Kofi Senya and Adumhene Baffuor Agyei Kese IV – who have now stepped down – took entrenched positions.

In the four past elections, none of the two garnered the constitutionally mandated two-thirds majority of votes cast. Chaotic scenes marred the fifth attempt on Tuesday. Fresh nominees have been put up for election on Friday 30 September.

Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Wednesday September 28, Dr Oduro-Osae said: “We the electorate who vote for the assembly members, we should have the opportunity to call them (Assembly Members) to order because we put them there to represent us and so we need to ask whether the failure to elect a Presiding Member is what we sent them there to do.”

“We need to explain to the assembly members that they don’t represent themselves, they represent the people of the area. Again, the government appointees are there to add value to the assembly process and so it is worrying that they are unable to elect a Presiding Member.

“It means the approval of the Assembly’s budget for 2017 will be difficult. Seth Terkper will be reading the 2017 national budget in November. Before he will do that, the budget of the assembly will need to be approved by the Presiding Member in order to be incorporated into the national budget. If the time comes for Mr Terkper to read the budget, that of KMA will not be included because there was no Presiding Member to approve their budget. All these coupled with no Chief Executive for KMA is retarding development in Kumasi.”

He added: “…We have reached a stage in Ghana where we must go all out to elect assembly members. We need to elect all of them and cancel the ‘government appointees’ arrangement. If we will elect them on partisan lines, it should be that way, just as is done in parliament.”

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