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28.10.2005 General News

Election in Ga East Assembly ends in chaos

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Accra (Abokobi) Oct. 28, GNA - The Ga East District Assembly on Friday failed to elect a new presiding member for the third time when the meeting broke out in confusion in a charged atmosphere with accusations and counter accusations.

In the ensuing confusion the Greater Regional Minister, Sheikh I.C Quaye and some government officials had to be escorted out of the Presbyterian Training Centre Hall.

It all started when Mrs Angela Adusei, Greater Accra Deputy Electoral Officer, reading the electoral laws for the conduct of the exercise mentioned that District Chief Executives and Members of Parliament in the assembly did not have voting rights except the assembly members.

She said only the 16 assembly members made up 10 elected members and six government appointees would be allowed to vote and that the three ex-officio members had no votes.

Mr Fast Nartey, Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Director, seized the microphone and countered that the procedure that Mrs Adusei was proposing was wrong and that all members of the assembly had equal voting rights.

He said DCEs and MPs in the other districts of the Region were allowed to vote to elect their presiding members why was it that this time they were being barred from voting.

His pronouncement drew sharp reactions from the assembly members, who insisted that the EC officials should be allowed to do their work. The situation degenerated into a confrontation between Government officials including Sheikh Quaye, his Deputy Ms Sophia Akuffo and the assembly members on the other hand.

Ms Sophia Akuffo said the regional administration would contact the EC to interpret Act 246 of the district assembly law and persons who have the right to vote under the law.

Later at a briefing, Alhaj Baba Ibrahim Mohammed, Assemblyman for the Pantang Electoral Area, appealed to President Mr John Agyekum Kufuor and Mr Charles Bintim, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development to intervene.

He said water and health projects, which should have taken off to alleviate the plight of the people in the area, were at a stand still because there was no DCE and a presiding member to run affairs of the assembly.