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Politics Wed, 31 Jul 2013

Mahama's fiat on DCEs; Legal or Illegal? Experts argue

The decision by President John Mahama to ask some Regional Ministers to act as District Chief Executives has sparked a huge controversy with some describing the president's decision as illegal.

George Kyei Baffuor, a local government expert, is incensed by the president's actions insisting it is a recipe for chaos.

President John Mahama only recently announced new MMDCEs, retained others and asked regional ministers to act temporarily, as government takes steps to appoint substantive DCEs.

The decision has also sparked wild protests in parts of the country as some residents kick against the president's nominees.

George Kyei Baffuor told Joy News' Evans Mensah on Tuesday, the president's action is illegal.

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According to him, the Local Government is a creation of the Constitution and has powers of appointment and deliberations.

He does not understand why the current and former presidents continue with impunity to interfere with the operations of the Local Government.

He is even more bemused with the directive by the president for regional ministers to act in some of the Districts and Municipalities.

Quoting portions of the Constitution, Kyei Baffour argued that no DCE can belong to two Assemblies. So for the president to ask regional ministers to act in more than one Assembly is a flagrant violation of the law.

He said: "this country will run into a state of anarchy if nothing is done" about this issue.

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But the General Secretary of the National Association of Local Authorities Ghana, Alhaji Ibrahim Sheriff Mohammed disagrees.

Whilst agreeing, there is a "grey area in the law" he does not see how the president's actions can be described as illegal.

He argued the regional minister by law is the president's representative in the region and can be asked to supervise activities within the region.

He does not see how that becomes illegal.

Source: joyonline