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Mon, Sep

Failure to elect presiding member inimical to development

For the fifth time running and the second time in about six months, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has failed to elect a Presiding Member (PM), which means that development in the metropolis has been stalled for all this while.

This is, indeed, a worrying development which needs a quick solution, so that activities will go on in the metropolis with respect to the development of social infrastructure.

Metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) are basically development oriented and are to ensure that the needed infrastructure in their areas of jurisdiction is properly developed for the benefit of the people.

Sadly, although the local government system has continuously been touted as being non-partisan, happenings at the KMA, which have prevented the election of a PM, clearly show that partisanship has been introduced into the election process.

The Daily Graphic believes that if it were not so, members of the KMA would not take entrenched positions that would not only prevent the election of a PM to run the affairs of the assembly but also result in a brawl. 

This is why many concerned watchers have, in recent times, called for the review of the Constitution to allow the election of people to head the MMDAs, instead of the current practice where the President has the prerogative to decide who becomes a metropolitan, municipal or district chief executive (MMDCE). 

The Daily Graphic finds it worrying that even after the main contender, the Adumhene, Nana Baffour Agyei Kesse, had voluntarily stepped down for the Assembly Member for Suame, Nana Kofi Senya, to be elected unopposed, the assembly could still not give Nana Senya the two-thirds majority required.

We believe that in such cases of a stalemate, with 62 assembly members voting ‘YES’ and 65 voting ‘NO’, there is the need for a third or probably a unifying force.

The Daily Graphic thinks it was a good decision by the KMA to give opportunity to four other members to stand for the position of PM. Unfortunately, as of the time of writing this report, there had not been any clear winner of the ballot.

We urge the ‘warring’ factions to bury the hatchet, so that their failure to elect a leader does not disadvantage the whole metropolis.

While it is true that another member of the assembly may be chosen to act as PM, that can only be done if a substantive PM is, for one reason or another, unable to attend and chair a meeting he needs to preside over.

In this case, however, no PM has been elected as yet, which means that no meaningful work can go on, since, technically, there is no leader to ensure that things are done and also be responsible for same.

Who is the right person to be PM at the KMA? The members of the assembly should shed their partisan garbs and elect any competent person, so that the impasse is ended once and for all.

Meanwhile, we urge the assembly members to desist from engaging in any further fisticuffs, as doing that does not speak well of them as leaders in the metropolis.

We cannot solve issues with war. We need to resort to dialogue to settle our differences at all times, otherwise there will not be any improvement by way of development.