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16.11.2008 Elections

Regional ministers seeking to go to parliament must resign


It would have been fair for regional ministers and metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives to resign their positions as heads of security in their areas of authority on becoming parliamentary candidates.

Captain George Nfodjoh (rtd) and Dr Archibald Letsa, National Democratic Congress (NDC) and National Patriotic Congress (NPP) parliamentary candidates respectively for Ho Central, expressed this view at a debate in Ho on Friday.

They however conceded that the law allows these officials to continue in office and thereby exercise authority over security despite their candidature.

Parliamentary candidates for the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) and the People's National Convention (PNC) failed to attend the forum organised by Club 50, a Ho-based social society with interest in governance.

Capt Nfodjoh and Dr Letsa also agreed that as far as practicable, the interest of constituents should override those of parties on whose tickets they are in parliament.

The two candidates said poverty, educational opportunities, lack of jobs, low agricultural production and lack of agricultural credits and sanitation were very pressing areas that must be tackled in the constituency.

Dr Letsa said if elected, he would build trust between himself and the people to raise their interest in governance so as to remove suspicion about those in government.

He urged the electorate to assess him by his track record as a medical doctor who has been working in the community for several years.

Capt Nfodjoh, the incumbent MP for the constituency, said he would establish an education fund to support those facing financial difficulties in their education in the constituency.

He said he had embarked upon a project to secure loans for subsistent farmers in the constituency urging the electorate to renew his mandate to bring development and improved services to the area.

Questions tabled included administration of the MPs Common Fund, sports development, sanitation and education among others.

Mr Dickson Pi-Bansah, Coordinator of the debate, expressed disappointment at the absence of the other candidates who had given their word to attend.

He said though the patronage was low the exercise was worth its cost because it provided the platform for public interaction between the candidates and the electorate.

A similar debate was held in 2000.

Present were Mr Joseph Ganne and Mr Heinz Jockers, European Union election observers.

Source: GNA