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21.02.2006 Regional News

MPs, DCEs/MCEs hold workshop on development

By GNA

Sunyani, Feb. 21, GNA - Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, on Monday called for collaborative working between Members of Parliament and District and Municipal Chief Executives to ensure the smooth implementation of government policies at the grassroots. He was addressing a one-day workshop in Sunyani aimed at harmonizing relationships between MPs and DCE/MCEs in Brong-Ahafo to promote peace and accelerated development.

The Regional Minister called for mutual respect among the MPs and the chief executives in the discharge of their constitutional obligations.

The workshop, attended by MCEs for Techiman and Sunyani and 19 DCEs, was the second of a series of workshops organised by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs under the auspices of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a German NGO.

Nana Seinti expressed optimism that recommendations and suggestions at the workshop would help achieve the intended objectives. Presenting a paper on "The Member of Parliament and The District Chief Executive - Partners in The Development of a Democratic Culture in Ghana", Mr. Felix K. Owusu Adjapong, Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, noted that conflicts in statutory functions had arisen as a result of the usurpation of roles of DCEs by MPs and vice versa.

"When a DCE perceives that the MP has exceeded the limits of his/her role, as provided by law and trespasses into his/her domain, it can give rise to conflicts."

"On the other hand, where an MP considers that he or she is frustrated by the DCE in the performance of his or her statutory functions conflict may also arise", he stated. The Minister appealed to members of the various editorial boards on district newsletters to ensure that they carried articles that broadly reflected the activities of key actors irrespective of political affiliations.

The Majority Leader said the Ministry would hold a special meeting for Parliamentarians to dialogue and solicit views on the challenges they encountered in their day-to-day businesses with DCEs within their constituencies.

Delivering a paper on "Enlightened Cooperation At The District Level: The Role of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives", Mr Charles Bintim, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, enumerated a number of factors necessary for effective cooperation between DCEs and MPs to engender the positive development of the people. These factors, he said, included the extension of invitation to MPs by DCEs to attend official functions and that DCEs should recognize the national status of MPs and accord them the due respect and protocol whenever they are in the districts.

The Minister asked MPs to recognize their roles as national legislators and not implementers of local dev elopment, which he said was the role of the DCE and Assembly Members.

Making a presentation on "Managing The Tension Between MPs and DCEs", Professor Joseph R. A. Aryee, Dean of Faculty of Social Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, noted that since there was competition for power and resources in the decentralization process, "there is bound to be disagreement and tension among agents of development". He said the effects of tension had resulted in the lack of coordination of activities, development and poverty reduction and poor teamwork among other factors, in various communities throughout the country.

To manage such tension Prof. Aryee called for transparency, trust, regular flow of information and communication, the promotion of the spirit of public service and interest, as well as the recognition that DCEs and MPs were key actors in the development process. Mr Richter Nii Armah Amarfio, a representative of Friedrich Ebert Foundation remarked that the organisation's aim was to bring peace to the country by organizing workshops to remind MPs and DCEs of their specific roles as they brought development to the doorsteps of the people. 21 Feb. 06

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