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Politics of Monday, 18 November 2013

Source: Graphic.com.gh

NALAG elections end in fiasco

Election of national executive officers of the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) became a fiasco following a mix-up in which the ballot papers for the treasurer position were issued to the delegates voting in the presidential election.

Delegates from the Volta Region had just finished voting and it was the turn of those from the Upper West Region when it was detected that instead of ballot papers for the presidential position, the ballot issued to voters was rather that of the treasurer’s. The ballot papers were issued by officials of the Electoral Commission (EC).

Misunderstanding and commotion then broke out when the matter about the mix-up was brought to the attention of the Brong Ahafo Regional officials of the EC about the mix-up.

The twist, therefore, resulted in the swearing in of the already elected 10 regional representatives, under the chairmanship of Naa Abdul Rahman from the Upper West Region to oversee the smooth running of the association until another possible meeting was held to elect the executive.

By the constitution of NALAG, the regional representatives are already part of the national executive council and so they are qualified to manage the affairs of the association until such a time that it will be in a better position to elect a new executive.

Nana Yaw Osei, a delegate from the Ashanti Region, who briefed the Daily Graphic about the unfortunate development, indicated that after the complaint had been made, the delegates blamed the EC for not having done its homework well, hence the mishap, and, therefore, some of them called for the outright cancellation of the election.

But in a quick rebuttal, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the EC, Mr George Gyabaah said, the EC could not be blamed for the problem, saying that NALAG should rather take the trouble, especially in view of the cumbersome nature of its constitution.

He explained that by the constitution of NALAG, candidates for the various positions could submit their nomination forms six hours before elections, after which the EC was expected to arrange for the swift printing of the ballots and subsequent election, a situation which put a lot of pressure on the EC.

A total of 1, 080 delegates converged on the Tyco City Hotel in Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital, to hold their 18th annual general conference from November 12- 15, 2013. The highlight of the biennial meeting was the election of leaders to steer affairs of the association for the next two years.