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17.05.2006 Regional News

Make input on ROPAL - Chiefs urged

By GNA

Abeadze Dominase (C/R), May 16, GNA - Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister Designate for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, has called on traditional rulers to submit proposals on the Representation of the Peoples Amendment Law (ROPAL) to the Electoral Commission (EC) to enable it to come out with modalities for its implementation that would be acceptable to all.

Even though Parliament has passed the law, it is the EC that has the final say in its operation, the Minister Designate stated, adding that proposals from the people especially chiefs would be of great help to the Commission.

Mr Asamoah Boateng, who is the MP for Mfantseman West, made the call during a forum at Abeadze Dominase to explain events during the last session of Parliament and to answer questions from the public on government policies and programmes.

He urged traditional authorities and Assembly Members to adopt an open door policy since democracy could not succeed without effective communication between the authorities and the people. Mr Asamoah Boateng stated that 12 communities in the constituency had been connected to the national electricity grid since he was elected MP for the area 15 months ago while 16 more would enjoy the facility soon.

The Minister Designate appealed to Ghanaians to be patient and bear with the government while it made efforts to solve their problems.

Mr Robert Quainoo-Arthur, Mfantseman District Chief Executive (DCE), explained that poverty reduction initiatives were not only about giving loans.

He said that any policy by the government to cut down the expenses of people such as ensuring food security, the capitation grant, free bus ride for school children and the construction of link roads to shorten distances were all poverty reduction strategies. He enumerated a number of roads being constructed by the Assembly to link communities.

Dasebre Kwebu Ewusie VII, Omanhene of the Abeadze Traditional Area, expressed his gratitude to President J A Kufuor for nominating Mr Asamoah Boateng for a ministerial position, saying it was an honour for the constituency and called on the people to support the MP. He suggested a programme to invite chiefs and opinion leaders to observe proceedings in Parliament to bridge the gap between the people and the legislature.

The Omanhene commended the MP for initiating the forum, saying it was in the right direction to bring democracy to the doorsteps of the people.

He advised other Parliamentarians to emulate Mr Asamoah Boateng. Similar forums were held at Saltpond, Anomabo and Mankessim.

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