Standoff between TMA and EC officer nearly mars election
Assembly Members of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) on Friday, had a standoff with Mr Watson Tizor Apentsui, the Tema Metropolitan Electoral Officer over the placement of a voting screen.
The atmosphere became intense when most of the Assembly Members got up to stage a walkout over some comments made by Mr Apentsui, which they deemed unpalatable.
The standoff was triggered when Mr Frederick Kojogah Dekagbe, member for Dade-Agbo Electoral Area, alerted the EC officer to change the position of the voting screen to allow for their right to casting a secret ballot.
Other members seconded the call quoting Act 462 section 18 (6) and 17 of the Local Government Act to back their demand.
Mr Apentsui, however, insisted on placing the screen in front of the podium where the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) and the Metropolitan Coordinating Director (MCD) were seated.
He indicated that he was in-charge of the organisation of the election and therefore has the authority to place the screen at a place he deemed appropriate.
The Assembly Members became enraged when he stated that "at this moment I am in-charge here and nobody talks when I talk" adding that "you are not allowing me to land because you are not learning".
He further asked the Assembly Members to take over the organization of the election if they think they could conduct it.
The Assembly Members were visibly angered by the EC Officer's utterances and stand, which they described as arrogant and disrespectful to them and the house.
Nerves were calmed when the MCE and MCD willingly relocated for the election to be held.
The election was the second attempt to elect a Presiding Member for the seventh assembly of the TMA.
The first election saw Mr Joseph Korto polling nine votes; the incumbent Mr Romeo Akahoho had 14 votes and Mr Richard Fiadumor, 23 votes.
After the casting of votes for the second round, Mr Fiadumor polled 34 out of the 48 votes cast to secure two thirds majority needed to secure victory.
The incumbent, Mr Akahoho polled only one vote whilst Mr Korto also had 13 votes.
Mr Fiadumor, who was led by Justice Adjei Frimpong, Tema Metropolitan Supervising Judge to take the oaths of office, secrecy and allegiance, thanked the members for the confidence reposed in him and called for unity and the development of Tema.
Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, in a remark before the election, said the Assembly has started the use of the E-Revenue collection as a foundation to accrue the needed funds to finance projects in the Metropolis.
Mr Odamtten charged Assembly Members to work in unity to restore Tema to its former glory as a planned city and maintain its good name as the port city and industrial hub of Ghana.