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09.11.2008 General News

VR House of Chiefs elects new leaders amidst tension

VR House of Chiefs elects new leaders amidst tension

Fears of a second abortive attempt at electing the President and Vice-President of the Volta Region House of Chiefs and its five representatives to the National House of Chiefs Thursday generated tense moments in the House.

An earlier attempt last year to conduct the elections fizzled out at the last moment due to legal technicalities creating suspicion of manipulation on the part of the leadership.

When Togbega Gabusu VI, President of the House, therefore announced on Thursday that the Leadership and Officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) were retiring to consider some legal technicalities, the atmosphere became tense amidst murmurings and muffled threats of resistance.

The tension deepened when the expected brief adjournment prolonged well into one hour amidst consultations and a protest by Togbe Degenu III, Fiaga of Agave over the House having been kept in suspense.

The tense atmosphere in the House however relaxed when Mr Dogbe Selormey, Deputy Volta Regional Director of the EC emerged and announced the commencement of the elections and the procedures to be followed.

The atmosphere was once again filled with suspense as the 29 Chiefs eligible to vote were called one-by one to cast their votes, especially when Mr Selormey announced that two members who were absent for health reasons had nominated Togbega Gabusu to be their proxy.

After the elections, Togbe Afede XIV, 51, Agbogbomefia of Asogli was elected President of the House with 19 votes beating Nana Mprah Besemuna III, Krachiwura who polled ten votes.

The House also by 19 votes to 10 elected the Paramount Chief of Likpe Traditional area, Nana Soglo Allo IV, 50, as its Vice-President over Togbe Delume VII, Paramount Chief of Ve and outgoing Vice-President of the House.

The House also elected five out of six contestants as its representatives to the National House of Chiefs.

They are Nana Soglo Allo IV, 27 votes, Togbe Afede XIV, 25 votes, Nana Mprah Besemuna III, 25 votes, Togbe Delume VII, 25 votes and Togbe Adai Kwasi Sekpe XII, Paramount Chief of Awudome, 22 votes.

Togbega Gabusu who has since stepped down as President of the House, could however not get elected into the National House of Chiefs having polled 17 votes.

In his maiden address to the House after being sworn into office, as President of the House, Togbe Afede thanked members for the confidence reposed in him and Nana Allo and for the opportunity to serve the region and the country in their new capacities.

He said they have come into office not as bosses but as colleagues striving together to edify the chieftaincy institution and help in meeting the expectations of the people.

Togbe Afede said he and his Vice-President were well aware of the financial and other problems confronting the House and the chieftaincy institution in the region, adding, “we will try to be better leaders than you have imagined”.

Regarding the December 7 elections, he reminded chiefs of their principal responsibility of counselling their subjects to “work for peace not just wish for peace” because stability was vital for national development.