Saltpond (C/R), April 18, GNA – The Mfantseman Municipal Assembly has elected a 39-year-old teacher, Mr Alex Kojo Appiah, as a Presiding Member in an election contested by six assembly members.
He succeeded Mr Alex Beecham Senior, who also stood for the election, conducted by staff of electoral commission led by Mr Stephen Bertino Babayire, Municipal Electoral Officer.
Three rounds of elections were conducted – the first ended with Mr Godfred Ato Donkor, polling 15 votes; Alex Kojo Appiah, 13 votes; Jerry Bill Crentsil, nine votes; Alex Beecham Senior, six votes; Abraham Kweku Mensah and Joseph Abakah Etsii, three votes each with two rejected ballots.
The second round was between Mr Donkor and Mr Appiah who scored 19 and 30 votes respectively with one ballot paper rejected.
The third round ended with Mr Appiah scoring 39 votes whilst Mr Donkor had 12 votes.
An aspirant needs to acquire two-third majority of the total valid votes to be declared winner.
In his acceptance speech, the new PM called for unity to enable the Assembly to improve standard of living in the Municipality and urged members not hesitate to draw his attention when going wayward.
Mrs Mary Odro, Municipal Magistrate led Mr Appiah to swear the oaths of office, secrecy and allegiance.
Mr Henry Kweku Hayfron, Municipal Chief Executive in an address said, the Assembly was reclaiming marshy area behind the Mankessim Market for the construction of stalls for traders who currently trade in the street.
The MCE said the Assembly accepted the National Disaster Management Organisation’s recommendation that the use of fire extinguishers in pubic places such as premix fuel stations, hospitals, offices and markets should be strictly enforced.
Mr Hayfron said the Assembly’s attention had been drawn to the high incidence of HIV and AIDS cases in the Municipality in recent times.
He said available records indicated that as at March 15, 2013 out of 6,685 pregnant women, who undertook HIV and AIDS test, 505 tested positive.
The MCE expressed concern about decline in HIV and AIDS activities in the Municipality due to lack of funds and appealed to donor agencies to support the Assembly to fight the disease.
Mr Hayfron said the Rural Technology Facility Board had directed that each member of the Assembly be allocated one place in the facility for the training of people from their localities in any programme being run by the facility.
He urged the Assembly members to take advantage of the opportunity to help their people to acquire skills.
On finance, he said, in 2012 the Assembly budgeted to collect an amount of GH¢705,629.00 from its traditional sources, but the Assembly was able to collect GH¢609,361.31, representing 86.36 percent of the total budgeted amount.
He said the total expenditure of the Assembly within the period was GH¢677,539.51 Ghana cedis.
Mr Hayfron said a total of 97.95 kilometres of road in the Municipality had been awarded on contract by the central government through the Ministry of Roads and Transport.
He said the Assembly received a total amount of GH¢377,228.00 under District Development Fund for investment and capacity building out of which construction of fence wall at Ankaful, construction of 900mm diameter drain at Abandze, teachers’ quarters at Nkwanta and a three-unit classroom block with ancillary facilities at Duadze had been awarded on contract.
Mr Hayfron said the Assembly was to benefit from 14 boreholes and five institutional latrines under LDA Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project.
He noted that one of the major problems facing the Municipality was the lack of household toilets in most of the communities, a situation which compelled people to resort to ‘free range defecation,’ which had its consequences.