Cape Coast Assembly endorses Ernest Arthur amid controversy

BY: Edith Mensah
Mr Ernest Arthur — Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive
Mr Ernest Arthur — Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive

After days of controversies and accusations, the President's nominee for the position of Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Ernest Arthur, was approved by the assembly yesterday.

Mr Arthur, who failed in two earlier attempts to secure the votes that would confirm him, yesterday polled 45 of the 63 votes to be confirmed as the MCE. Eighteen members of the assembly voted against his nomination.

The assembly members had on two previous occasions failed to confirm him.

The exercise was characterised by a lot of confusion as some assembly members with dissenting views indicated that there were irregularities that needed to be addressed.

During the counting, a misunderstanding ensued between the assembly members over what they described as “stuffing of the ballot box with additional papers by some officials”.

It took the swift intervention of the police and the Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, to restore calm.

Press conference

Soon after the confirmation, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Cape Coast South, Mr Kweku Ricketts Hagan, said the electoral process failed abysmally because the ballot papers were tampered with.

According to him, the presiding member failed to issue the President’s letter of renomination and that made the process in its entirety illegitimate.

For his part, the NDC MP for Cape Coast North, Dr Samuel Kwamena Mintah, appealed to relevant stakeholders to look into the election and conduct a new one, adding that “we outrightly reject the results and call for a re-election.”

MCE

Expressing joy and appreciation to the assembly members, Mr Arthur pledged his commitment to serve diligently and assured them of more infrastructural development to give the municipality a facelift.

He noted that the first two elections had been unsuccessful due to the partisan stance taken by some of the assembly members.

Presiding member

The Presiding Member for the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly, Nana Kweku Awuku, described the voting as a smooth exercise that “proved the beauty of democracy.”

He said claims of ballot stuffing were untrue.

“During the counting, some of our brothers attacked the EC table and made it difficult for counting to start in earnest but the police responded appropriately for calm to prevail and continuation of the exercise,” he explained.

The Metropolitan Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Richard Asenso, who declared the MCE-elect, however, declined to comment on the issue.