Four Political parties have accepted to abide by the decision of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to streamline its advertising by-laws to forestall clashes between the parties over the placement of campaign billboards, posters and banners in the Kumasi metropolis.They are the Convention People?s Party (CPP), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People?s National Convention (PNC). At a meeting with the KMA Chief Executive, Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, and other officials of the assembly in Kumasi on Tuesday, all the four parties, which were represented by their regional executives, agreed to obey the by-laws.
They, however, disagreed to pay for the advertisements as stipulated in the by-laws of the assembly and pleaded that the issue of payment be discussed after the election. The parties also appealed to the assembly to quickly identify areas which would be suitable for the placement of the public notices.
The Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and the National Reform Party (NRP) and the other minority parties were, however, not represented at the meeting. Explaining their disagreement with the decision of the KMA on payment, the parties argued that its timing was inappropriate.
The opposition parties believed that it was meant to stifle their campaign.Mr Jumah urged the executives to come to a compromise and educate their followers about the new measures taken by the assembly to avert clashes during electioneering.He quoted section 79 of the local government act (462), which highlighted on the placements of adverts in the city and added that if the exercise was successful it was the whole Kumasi community that would benefit.
Mr Jumah debunked the notion that the enforcement of the by-laws was meant to suppress the campaign of the opposition parties, contending, ?the fact that the by-laws had not been enforced in the past does not mean they do not exist?.
He told them not to hesitate to consult him on any issue related to advertising requirements and said that his doors were always open.The Metropolitan Engineer, Mr Charles Ampomah Mensah,outlined the advertising procedures to the political parties and appealed to them to consult the engineering department of the assembly before they put up any advertisement in the metropolis.
The Chief Executive of the Advertising Association of Ghana, Mr Francis Dadzie, also expressed concern about the haphazard manner in which political parties placed their posters and billboards and called for a stop to that practice.
He stressed that the agency would embark on a special exercise during the campaign period to remove any poster which would be found on any of the agency?s billboards saying, we would drag the parties to court.