18.05.2005 NDC News

NDC challenges unconstitutional nominations of DCEs

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Accra, May 18, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Wednesday challenged the government for nominating District Chief Executives in contravention with the Constitution.

The NDC said nominating Mr Stanley Adjiri-Blankson and Mr Robert Quainoo Arthur as Accra Metropolitan Assembly Chief Executive and Mfantseman District Executive respectively undermined and subverted the constitution according to Article 246 (2) and Article 243 (3).

Article 246 (3) provides; Unless he resigns or he earlier ceases to hold office under clause (3) of Article 243 of the Constitution, the term of office of the District Chief shall be four years; and a person shall not hold office as a District Chief Executive for more than two consecutive terms."

Article 243 (3) provides as follows; The office of District Chief Executive become vacant if - (a) a vote of no confidence, supported by the votes of not less than two thirds of all the members of the District Assembly is passed against him; or (b) he is removed from office by the President; or (c) he resigns or dies."

A statement signed by Mr. Bede Ziedeng, NDC Acting General Secretary in Accra said Mr Adjiri-Blankson's appointment took effect in February last year and "his four-year term therefore ends in January 2008, unless any of the intervening events under Article 243 (3) takes place."

The NDC said Mr Arthur was also appointed as Mfantseman District Chief Executive in April 2003 and "his four-year term therefore ends in March 2007."

"In both cases, none of the intervening events has taken place, that is a vote of no confidence has not been passed on them; the President has not removed them from office and they neither resigned nor died.

"They have also not served their full four-year terms, yet the President has purported to re-nominate them for approval and appointment as a Mayor and District Chief Executives."

The NDC said: "the tenure of office of the DCE is not coterminous with the President's and it is therefore wrong for the President to assume that his re-election means that he has to re-nominate every serving DCE when none of the intervening events envisaged under Article 243 (3) has occurred without also breaching the Constitution."

The NDC therefore, calls on President Kufuor to withdraw the nominations of Mr. Adjiri-Blankson and Mr Arthur with immediate effect. It said, "the President must also ensure that all of the other nominated serving DCEs have served their full four-year terms and that it was time for them to be re-nominated for approval."

The NDC said the real danger of that abuse of the Constitution was "in the event that the nominated persons are not approved by their Assemblies, their rights to hold office for four years would have been interfered with unjustifiably."

It called on District Assemblies not to condone that illegality and should abstain from voting on the nominees.

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