Local gov’t minister urges citizens to participate in assembly elections

The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Julius Debrah, has urged Ghanaians to take the impending local elections seriously.

He said the quality of men and women elected to the various district assemblies will largely determine the rate and quality of development there.

Mr. Debrah said all development has become local and it is crucial for local people to take the development of their localities into their own hands by getting involved in the process of choosing those who will spearhead the development of their communities.

The country’s elections governing body, the Electoral Commission, has announced that this year’s local level elections will be held on March 3, 2015.

Under the country’s decentralization system, the nation is divided into districts, municipal and metropolitan assemblies for easy administration.

Every district or municipal or metropolitan area is further divided into electoral areas represented by elected members who constitute the assembly which is headed by a District, Municipal or Metropolitan Chief Executive.

According to Section 5(3) of the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462), “Elections to a District Assembly shall be held once every four years…”

In recent years, local level elections have neither attracted massive media publicity nor public participation compared to the presidential and parliamentary elections, a situation the minister says must change.

Mr. Debrah said all citizens have a duty to increase their level of participation in the local level elections and they must start with next month’s.

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