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07.03.2005 Politics

Women's groups call for election of DCEs

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Ho, March 07, GNA - A group of women leaders in the Volta Region have called for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives as means of making them accountable and responsible to their constituents.

They are of the view that the current arrangement of the President nominating such officials for the endorsement by two-thirds of assembly members robs the chief executives of the popular mandate they required for holding political office and a denial of the electorate their right to choose their leaders.

The 40 women leaders, who represented the leadership of business groups, professional bodies, public institutions and trades and student groups, made the call at a two-day training programme on "Democracy and Human rights'' organised by the Women Awareness and Business Association (WABA) a non-governmental organisation in Ho.

They said the President's nominees for such offices were largely unknown to the President who depended on some advisors and power brokers to get people of their choice appointed into such offices without regard for competence.

Such people, they argued, were subject to manipulation by their mentors and could not be trusted to assert their independence in the best interest of the people.

Regarding the argument that the President would withhold funds and developments from an Assembly headed by a chief Executive of a different political party, the women reasoned that ''law governs the allocation of District Assemblies Common Fund and authorised by Parliament and not by the President.''

In their view once elected the President is by law the leader of the entire country and is required to and must be ready to work with all public office holders including those of different political persuasions in fulfilment of the mandate conferred on him by the citizenry in the national interest.