Employ Assembly Members- Obiri Boahen

Nana Obiri Boahene, the Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party(NPP), has called for the full employment of assembly members.

He said they worked hard in their areas of operation and there was the need for government to engage them permanently with salaries and not sitting allowances that they currently received.

“Assembly men and women must be employed fully, for them to work at all times and not only 14 months where they take only sitting allowances”.

Nana Obiri Boahene made the call at the transformational local governance reforms and implications seminar on developmental political parties held in Accra on Friday.

The seminar which was on the theme: “Towards Multi-Party Chief Executives and Assemblies: How Prepared and Ready are the Parties to Parties in Local Governance” was organised by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG).

He also called for the allocation of offices to them and National Service Personnel who would work under them.

According to Nana Obiri Boahene, when all the working conditions were put in place, it would help promote local governance systems at the local level.

Touching on the seminar, the Deputy General Secretary of the NPP admitted that there could be challenges that would come with the process of electing Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), but the NPP was all for it.

“Though the election process will come with challenges, NPP is all for it, it is the position of the NPP that MMDCEs must be elected.

“We are ready and have been since former President Kufour’s time to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s era,”he said.
Giving the background to the seminar, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of IDEG, said, the debate on the participation of the political parties in governance at the local level had received growing attention.

He said: “During the 2016, general election, the debate became more intense as it appeared that almost all the major political parties featured the promise to elect MMDCEs on multi-party basis in their manifestoes.

“The NPP for instance promised to directly elect MMDCEs within 24 months when in power, the NDC on the other hand, promised to implement the CRC’s recommendation on the election on MMDCEs, it is against this background that IDEG, under the theme is exchanging ideas on the proposed democratic devolution reform with the NPP as the nation steadily moves towards implementation,” he said.

Mr Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow at IDEG, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said it was time Ghana adopted the process of electing MMDCES as it was helping in the local governance at Uganda, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

He said the electorates being allowed to choose would make their MMDCEs accountable to them.

Mr Jonah disagreed on the issues of sabotage adding that “There will be no sabotage instead, it will be a different form of government, that will promote development at the local levels.”

On the engagement, he noted that it formed part of IDEG’s governance policies and was in the right direction as it would provide a platform for the NPP leadership to share their views on the proposed reform.

He told the GNA that, doing this would provide an opportunity to discuss the implications of the President’s decision to elect MMDCEs along party lines.

“It will offer IDEG the opportunity to mobilise, collate views and forge consensus for the constitutional amendment that may be required,” he said

The seminar which also explored the implications and likely impact of the proposed reforms on the transformation of Ghana’s economy, society and politics in the next 30 years had members and leaders of the NPP sharing ideas.

Some of the participants who spoke to the GNA observed that their capacities had been built towards the involvement in local governance system as they would field candidates for the positions of MMDCEs and assembly membership and also drive the development agenda at the local level.

Source: GNA

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