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A former Deputy Minister for Local Government, Edwin Nii Lantey vanderpuye, has accused the President of plot to mutilate the democracy of the country.
According to him, attempts by the administration to constitute the Electoral College for the Council of State election with fanatics of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will render Ghana’s local government system impotent.
He alleged that contrary to regulations that require Assemblies to constitute meetings of all members to appoint two persons each to the Electoral College, the government is surreptitiously handpicking its Apparatchiks to vote in the Council election on behalf of the Assemblies.
The Member of Parliament for Odododiodioo lamented to journalists in Parliament on Thursday that since the announcement of the composition of the new Council of State, the government has further eroded the sanctity, respect and importance that is supposed to be accorded the local system.
“Over the years and according to the Constitutional provision Article 89(1c), some members of the Council of State are appointed by the President and others are elected by an Electoral College.”
“This is constituted by nominations 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 to arrogate to themselves the authority to choose their own representatives to form the Electoral College instead of constituting an assembly meeting for the assemblies themselves to nominate two people to the college.”
He alleged that acting MMDCEs and presiding members have constituted themselves into the two representatives without recourse to the rules.
The Council of State, he said, should continue to be that important institution to balance the President’s authority.
“If we are going to have a Council of State that is virtually an extention of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), then it will not be able to cancel the President’s powers,” he said.
The Majority New Patriotic Party (NPP), however, rebuffed the allegation and denied government is handpicking the delegates.
Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annor Dompreh, stated there is no evidence the government is engaged in such activity and challenged the Minority to present a proof.
According to him, a cursory check in his district indicated some assemblies have nominated MMDCEs and Presiding Officers to vote in the Council election on their behalf.
He said, “There is nothing wrong if the assemblies have by themselves agreed for these two persons to represent them at the Council election.”
“It is a matter of a decision made by the assemblies,” he said.