By Richard Aboagye
The party that touts itself as marshals of the rule of law keep showing Ghanaians by their acts how they blatantly disregard the laws of the land when they are in power.
While the standing orders of Metro, Municipal and Districts Assemblies clearly states modalities for voting to confirm DCE appointments, the Local Government Act goes further to shed light on the District Assembly's Leadership.
The Local Government Act 936 makes it clear in article that a Presiding Member shall serve two terms and be eligible for reelection.
A look at Clause 2 of Section 17 of the Local Government Act 936 2016 says that "the Presiding member shall not be the District Chief Executive or a Member of Parliament."
It is interesting to note that in the current NPP administration, we have Presiding members who are District Chief Executives. This is a clear breach of the provision in the Act.
The NPP under the supervision of the President and regional ministers saw Presiding Members who have been made MMDCEs. While this in itself is not wrong, it is shameful to reckon that some Presiding Members who were appointed as DCEs are now DCEs and Presiding Members at the same time because they did not resign from their previous position, and neither were new Presiding Members elected before their confirmation as DCE.
In most instances, District Coordinators who do not have the mandate to preside over meetings of the assembly are the ones who sit in, in the presence of DCE Presiding Members, to see them confirmed. Order 16 of the modest standing orders of MMDAs emphasizes that in special cases (District Assembly Budget, Confirmation of MMDCEs etc.) presiding members shall preside over such meetings and not the district coordinators like it is being done. Also, MMDCEs elections are done after Presiding Members elections have been conducted but this has been turned the other way round.
As unlawful as this is, it is the actual case in many districts across the country. The district (Asante Akim Central Municipal) of the Majority Leader himself, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah is one of the districts involved in this mess. There are other districts like Fomena, Sekyere Kumawu and a host of others explicitly pushing the Local Government Act into the dustbin. No one seem to care about this anomaly and very soon the Act may be relegated to the background completely.
For a party that crowns itself as knowing the law and always abiding by it, throwing away laid down procedures and doing what it pleases is least expected. But the truth is that the NPP gradually does not care about laws as long as they have power.
If things continue like this, our democracy will be threatened with rule of men instead of rule of law. People who are expected to know better have lost their voices and conscience and watch as the wrong thrives.