The Majority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament has rebuffed an allegation by the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the government is handpicking delegates to vote in the Council of State elections.
According to the Majority, there is no evidence the government is engaged in such activity and challenged the Minority to present proof of its allegation.
Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annor Dompreh, who threw the challenge in Parliament on Thursday urged the NDC to take the matter to court if it has evidence such ‘infraction’ is taking place.
He stated that a cursory check in his district indicated some assemblies have nominated MMDCEs and Presiding Officers to vote in the Council election on their behalf.
“There is nothing wrong if the assemblies have themselves agreed for these two persons to represent the assemblies and vote for who represents them at the Council of State.”
“It is a matter of a decision made by the assemblies,” he said.
According to him, such matters should not be taken lightly, and therefore if the Minority has any evidence pointing to the contrary they must adduce it so the right thing would be done.
Former Deputy Local Government Minister, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, had earlier told the media acting MMDCEs and presiding members have presented themselves to the regional coordinating councils to constitute the electoral colleges to elect members of the Council of State without recourse to the law.
According to him, the Assemblies are mandated to convene meetings for members to appoint the two representatives but Presiding Members and MMDCEs are rather arrogating to themselves as the representatives.
He said, “Over the years and according to the Constitutional provision Article 89 (1c), members of the Council of State are either appointed by the President and others are elected by an Electoral College that is constituted by the nomination of two persons from the various District Assemblies.”
“In this particular instance, we have reports from almost all the assemblies throughout the country of attempts by this government to use their own power and authority and to arrogate to themselves that desire to choose their own representatives to the Electoral College instead of constituting an assembly meeting for the assemblies themselves to nominate the two people.”
The Odododiodioo legislator charged the government to act within the Constitution and stop the impunity being exhibited.
This, he said, has the potential to erode the beauty of Ghana’s decentralization credentials and warned the Minority will no longer overlook the infractions of the Akufo-Addo government on the development of the local government system.