Accra, March 24, GNA – The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA)has said that the directives to dissolve district assemblies and leave District Chief Executives in charge is misplaced and could adversely affect local governance.
A statement issued by the Centre and signed by Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso, acting Executive Director, said the directive by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) ‘is not only misplaced but also has the potential of affecting the effective and efficient management of our local governments.’
CLGA had earlier advocated for extension of the tenure of district assemblies so that they would not be left in the charge of District Chief Executives (DCEs).
The Centre said it has identified some noteworthy ‘lapses’ in the wake of the Supreme Court’s cancellation of the District Assembly Elections.
First, the executive functions of the district assembly which are required by law to be performed by the Executive Committee, chaired by the Chief Executive, would now be performed by the DCEs without the assembly members.
CLGA has noted that there are no legal provisions on the procedure for dissolving district assemblies in Ghana hence dissolution has often been done administratively by the MLGRD.
Furthermore, the MLGRD has had the discretion to determine the end of tenure of assemblies since there are no exact and specific provisions for the tenure of office of assembly members.
The statement said the constitutional provision Article 246 (1) which requires District Elections to be held every four years, does not exactly mean that the tenure for assembly members is four years.
The Centre also noted that under the local government laws of Ghana, the assemblies are made up of elected members, parliamentary members of constituencies within the assembly, DCEs as well and presidential appointees.
The directives of the MLGRD which cover only the elected members, leaves the parliamentarians, DCEs and presidential appointees whose appointments have not been revoked, to continue holding themselves as assembly members.
‘The President is encouraged to properly revoke the appointment of all government appointees and such similar persons as required by the Local Government Act,’ the statement said.
The Centre has also called for an audit of the Electoral Commission, expressing disappointment with the Commission for not apologizing and accounting for the District Elections’ budgetary allocation.
They are however pleased with the EC’s submission of a new Constitutional Instrument (C.I 89) to parliament and want parliament to sit during the Easter break to ensure maturity of the instrument.
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