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23.11.2004 Politics

Candidates call for amendment to Local Government Act

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Kumasi, Nov 23, GNA - Parliamentary candidates of the political parties contesting the Asokwa Constituency seat in Election 2004 have called for the amendment of the Local Government Act 462 to accelerate the socio-economic development of the country.

They contended that there were some aspects of the Act that were cumbersome to operate and were, therefore, impeding the easy implementation of plans and programmes.

The candidates were answering questions on whether the Act had outlived its usefulness at a forum organised by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) and USAID in Kumasi at the weekend.

Mr Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Candidate for Asokwa, was not happy with the aspect of the Act that gave the President the power to appoint District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives instead of the power being vested in the assemblies to elect their own Chief Executives.

If this were done, he said, it would eliminate the tensions that existed between the Chief Executives and assembly members and enable unit committees to play more responsible roles as the centrepiece of planning and development at the grassroots.

Mr Jumah again complained about the inadequacy of the Member of Parliament's (MP) share of the District Assemblies' Common Fund (DACF) and asked that it should be increased to ease pressure on MPs.

He promised to link up with corporate bodies outside the country to assist in the development of the Constituency if elected. Mr Ayamba Mahama, the PNC candidate, said his party was the only credible party that would not abuse incumbency and, therefore, asked the electorate to vote massively for the PNC.

Mr Ishmael Butler, the NDC parliamentary candidate, stressed the need for a peaceful co-existence among all the candidates and their supporters and that when given the mandate he would continue with all development projects abandoned in the Constituency since 2000.

Evangelist Peter Amankwaah, the CPP candidate, promised to institute a vibrant youth network in the Constituency that would co-ordinate the activities of youth clubs with the view to accessing credit facilities for them to establish on their own.

Mr Kobina Amo-Aidoo, an Independent Candidate, told the forum that it was time the electorate in the constituency gave independent candidates the chance to prove their worth since they were the best alternatives.

He, therefore, urged the electorate to defy the odds and vote on non-partisan lines and pledged to make the welfare of children his priority when given the mandate.

Dr Nicholas Amponsah, a Resource Person of CDD, who moderated, commended the candidates for exhibiting what he described as politics of maturity at the forum and pointed out that politics was not about war and as such supporters should be tolerant of one another at all times. 23 Nov. 04

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