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03.06.2005 General News

Democracy Under Fire In Central Region

Ghanaian Chronicle.

Bid to impose Times editor: Minister expels assembly members for not voting for Prez nominee The Minister of Local Government Mr. Charles Bintim, on Thursday unleashed a trail of blood and fear ore across parts of Central Region when he left no one in doubt of his standing as the terminator when it comes to appointment of Government's choice for District Chief Executives.

In Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem Constituency the local assemblymen made it clear that they were not going to vote for the former reporter of The Chronicle.

George Frank Asmah is the substantive deputy editor of Ghanaian Times. Members of the assembly are all government appointees to the local assembly.

This was hours before the voting by the assembly to confirm or reject the DCE who had been nominated by the President.

Reports say Mr. Bintim has spent time trying to persuade the assembly members to just go ahead and confirm the appointment of Asmah whose father is noted to be a local chieftaincy activist, but they remained resolute that they were not going to support the DCE.

That was what triggered the mass expulsion including the NPP Secretary, treasurer, deputy chairman and six others.

Only the constituency chairman Mr. Agyeman who was in the good books of the regional minister Mr. Isaac Edumadze remained.

It is learnt that the choice of Edumadze and Agyeman was one Mr. Nkyerekyer.

The minister's strike meant that the voting did not come on as he made it clear that they were going to look for new crop of people to appoint on toe the assembly who will dance to their tune.

The news traveled fast to next-door Cape Coast where there were clear signs that Muniru Arafat, 56, a Fantekramo from Antaam, a suburb of Cape Coast who has been re-nominated to continue as Municipal Chief Executive is facing rejection from 18 government appointees who were alleged to have been picked by the Regional.

After two days of meetings with the Assembly members and another from Professor Ghartey, the Central Regional Chairman of the NPP, there were signs of a thaw in the hardline position of the assembly members, frightened by the shocker at KEEA.

There were similar meetings at Asikuma Odoben Brakwa where outgoing DCE Anfoakwa, an electrical engineer and businessman were reported to be behind moves to sabotage the young DCE who had just been appointed by the President to replace him.

Mr. Anfoakwa has denied the allegation, but it took the intervention of Mr. Bintim's heavy hand to calm the stirring but the effect of the strong-arm tactic by the minister may undermine the democratic underpinnings of the district assembly system.