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General News of Thursday, 1 May 2008

Source: GNA

May Day @Tamale

Mr. Kofi Asamoah, Acting General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has stated that the appointment of District Chief Executive (DCE) to the Assemblies was undermining the country's fledging democracy.

He therefore appealed to parliament to consider reviewing the relevant sections of the constitution to ensure that the people elected all members of the district assemblies and the DCEs. Mr. Asamoah was addressing this year's May Day Celebration, which was on the theme: "Deepening Democracy in Ghana", at the Tamale Jubilee Park on Thursday.

He noted that, the assemblies as presently constituted continued to be hostage to central government through the power of appointment by the President, adding that, "Deepening democracy requires far reaching reforms at the district and municipal level to make them truly an expression of the political will of the people at the grassroots. He said that, if the motive for appointing DCEs and some assembly members by the President was to ensure that policies at the district level were consistent with the national ones then it was possible to appoint technical advisers to the assemblies to help in the formulation, implementation and review of policies at the district level. On the upcoming general elections the acting TUC Secretary General called on the government to provide the Electoral Commission with adequate resources to carry out all that was required for a peaceful, free and fair elections.

Mr. Asamoah said the Electoral Commission bore the responsibility of winning the nation's confidence in its integrity as an impartial referee in steering us through free, fair and transparent elections, saying that, "In this context the recent discovery of significant discrepancies in the voter's register in some constituencies in the Ashanti region should be a wake- up call for the EC to put its house in order".

On the labour front, he said despite the remarkable economic growth recorded since 1984, there was still over six million Ghanaians living in poverty, adding that analysis of the poverty trends shows that just about 68, 000 people were lifted out of poverty annually in the past 15 years.

He said if the current trend continues then it would take Ghana several decades to lift the remaining six million poor Ghanaians out of poverty.

President John Agyekum Kufuor in a speech read for him by Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister commended the labour front for its cooperation and understanding with government during periods of industrial disputes. President Kufuor touched on the current fuel and food crisis facing some parts of the world including Ghana and said the country was relatively saved by improvements in the agriculture sector, which had yielded adequate food supplies. Some hard workers who had distinguished themselves at the various work places over the years where presented with awards.

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