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Politics of Saturday, 29 August 2015

Source: GNA

NDC lauded for increasing in its electoral base

The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) has lauded the National Democratic Congress for its decision to enlarge its electoral base for electing their parliamentary candidates.

This action, according to the Centre, would not only reduce frivolous dish out of cash and other items to few people who make up an electoral college, but would most importantly help to produce better candidates.

Speaking during the launch of the 4th edition of “The Decentralisation Eye”, which is a newsletter published by the CLGA, Mr Bernard Joe Appeah, Board Chairman, CLGA, said the move by the NDC would ensure that only competent people are elected and not highest bidders.

“This action will reduce the unnecessary dishing out of money to few people in the constituencies who see themselves as kingmakers, and enrich themselves during electioneering periods with total disregard for national and constituency interests,” he added.

Mr Appeah said the action by the NDC, which was in tandem with the NPP’s electoral reforms, had deepened out democratic credentials and urged other political parties to emulate it.

“We believe the move will sincerely demonetize politics in Ghana, reduce financial stress on elected politicians and also help produce better candidates,” he added.

He urged the Electoral Commission to put in place the needed measures to ensure that electoral materials, election officials, and the biometric machines do not create problems which could lead to the prolonging of the district level elections slated for 1st September, 2015.

He also urged the EC to deal with the growing politicization of the campaign process and also be bold enough to apply sanctions that go with such offences for both the contestants and the political parties which would be found culpable.

Mr Appeah also advised the Local Government Ministry to endeavour to inaugurate all assemblies before 30th September for the members to quickly start their work.

He said ‘The Decentralization Eye’ which is published every quarterly seeks to monitor the implementation of the decentralization process in Ghana and report its findings in the newsletter.

He said the 4th edition had comprehensively reviewed the financing arrangements for local governments in Ghana and established a consistent local government funding gap.

“In this edition, we have also recommended a road map to inform national policy in the development of a municipal securities market for Ghanaian local governments,” he added.

“This edition has also analysed Ghana’s compliance with the National Disability Act 715 of 2006, especially the provisions requiring public institutions to ensure that their facilities ware disability friendly,” he added.

He said the new edition had also published activities of selected MMDAs, presiding members, as well as gender analysis of female representation in selected MMDAs across the country among other topical issues bothering on local governance.

Dr Eric Oduro Osae, CLGA Board Member and a Local Government Expert, called for the full implementation of the Disability Act, which would ensure that all public facilities were disability friendly before 2016 as well as the employment of at least three disabled people in government institutions.

He said the newsletter, which cost GH¢ 15, could be bought at the office of the CLGA at Adjiriganor in Accra or all leading bookshops including Legon and EPP Bookshops.