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‘Suspend Assembly Members Contesting Political Party Positions’   
 
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21-Feb-2018  
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Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been called upon to suspend assembly members who contest political party positions since their decision is at variance with the 1992 Constitution and the Local Government Act 936 of 2016.

The Assembly Member for the Donkoyianmu/Obra Wogum Electoral Area in the Effutu Municipality in the Central Region, Mr Nathaniel Akyeampong, who made the call, said the move by the assembly members was unconstitutional.

He explained that it was a public knowledge that the legal framework and the statutes of the decentralisation concept were explicit on the non-inclusion of assembly members in active partisan politics.

It is an open secret that some assembly members across the country are lacing their boots to contest for various constituency positions of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in their upcoming primaries.

Legislative powers

He told the Daily Graphic in Agona Swedru last Monday that article 248(1&2) and section 8(1,2,3,4) of the Local Government Act of 2016, which was the substantive law for local governance, debarred political parties and prospective assembly members from procuring the services of each other to advance their causes.

According to him, any assembly member who expressed interest in a party position must first and foremost resign from as an assembly member in order to gain or earn the legitimacy to contest a political party position.

He added that pursuant to the legislative powers and functions of district assemblies, same must be seen operating in strict conformity with the rules and regulations governing the decentralisation process.

He stated that district assemblies and by extension assembly members could not disrespect the Constitution as well as laws on local governance and expect ordinary citizens to comply with their bye laws and regulations.

Furthermore, he urged the assembly members to collectively support efforts towards uplifting the status of their office such as the demand for monthly emolument and end-of-service benefits from the state, adding that “the move by some assembly members to contest party positions would derail our legitimate cause of championing better service conditions for assembly members”.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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