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Opinions Tue, 30 May 2017

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What are MPs role in the selection of MMDCEs?

Selection or nomination of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) by government has always come with mixed reactions from party followers, sponsors and to some large extent traditional rulers.

Many a times, people are made to believe that Members of Parliament (MPs) from the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have so many powers when it comes to the selection of MMDCEs.

Due to this erroneous impression, some people go to the extreme of verbally and physically attack and assault MPs when their choice of preference fails to catch the eye of the President.

Few days ago, the MP for Wassa East Constituency in the Western Region, Hon Isaac Adjei Mensah in fulfillment of his constitutional and parliamentary duties suffered a similar fate at Daboase where the president’s nominee was to be either confirmed or rejected by members of the Assembly as the law mandates.

When voting ended, the nominee, Mr Wilson Arthur, Chief Executives Officer (CEO) of Skyy Media Group, failed to secure the two-thirds “yes” vote required to get him confirmed. He secured nineteen (19) “yes” votes and eleven (11) votes against.

Immediately voting and counting ended, the MP and his team were taken hostage at the event by an unruly group of activists loyal to the nominee. Per the eyewitness account, it took police reinforcement to escort the lawmaker from the venue to his vehicle.

The mob, despite the heavy security presence pursued the MP and his team, threw stones and other missiles at them and in the process smashed and dented the MP’s Toyota Land Cruiser.

According to the MP, he subsequently reported the incident to the Sekondi Police Divisional Headquarters upon the advice of the Divisional Police Commander. Notwithstanding the serious nature of the incident, no arrest has so far been made.

Assembly Members, who were suspected of voting against the President’s nominee were also attacked and could have been lynched by the mob but for the timely intervention of the police.

This is one of the many avoidable incidents that have shredded the nomination and confirmation of President Akufo-Addo’s nominees for the position of MMDCEs.

My research into the ‘mysterious’ President’s nominees for the position of MMDCEs revealed that selections were done at the beck and call of party financers, party gurus, cronies , nepotism and ‘Godfatherism’. Thus MPs are the least people to call the shots when it comes to the selection of MMDCEs.

Yes I will not deny the fact that some few loud-mouth parliamentary aspirants during political campaigns went round promising ‘Heaven’ on earth including telling people they would make them MCEs or DCEs.

Surprisingly, both die-hard supporters and the people who these promises were made to, did not ask the parliamentary candidates if they had the ultimate power to make appointments even at the kindergarten level, let alone nominating someone for the position of MCE or DCE.

What I think will save the MPs and others who party supporters see as powerful or influential when it comes to appointments is to tell the truth always and also educate their supporters on what they (MPs) can and cannot do.

Another solution is allowing the electorate to elect their own MMDCEs. The selection process must be transparent with certain bench marks for would be applicants to meet before one would even think of contesting the position in the first place.

If these two guidelines are followed to the letter, I believe all the hullaballoo, the curses, verbal as well as physical attacks meted out on innocent persons will be a thing of the past.

Columnist: Franklin Asare-Donkoh

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