The first ordinary meeting of the third session of the fifth Yilo Krobo Municipal Assembly at Somanya was nearly marred when the election of a presiding member was suspended.
The tense situation dragged on for almost two hours as the Municipal Chief Executive’s explanation was not accepted by some of the assembly members.
According to the Mr Andrew Sodah, the MCE, the new Eastern Regional Minister had directed all municipal and district assemblies in the region to hold on with the election of new presiding members.
Some assembly members, who were probably eager to file their nominations, insisted on the election of a new presiding member that day as against the regional minister’s directive.
The members, who objected to the directive, quoted the Model Standing Orders of the assembly, explaining that the two year term of the presiding member, which ended in February this year, mandated the assembly to elect a new one.
According to them, the incumbent presiding member was acting illegally.
Other members quoted another section of the same Model Standing Order that said a sitting presiding member had the mandate to preside over the assembly’s meetings until a new one was elected.
It, however, took the intervention of the MP for the area, Mr Kofi Amoatey and other members of the house to calm down the aggrieved members.
When it became clear that majority of the members agreed to continue the two days sitting, the few aggrieved ones staged a walk out from the assembly hall and returned 30 minutes later upon the persuasion of the assembly’s chief whip.
The current presiding member, Mrs Rita Akosua Awatey, was however in full glimpse amidst the tension of the meeting and controlled affairs with intermittent shouts of “order, order in the house”.
In her short opening address, Mrs Awartey stressed the need to maintain unity amongst members of the municipal assembly.
She, however, expressed her disappointment over that morning’s incident, saying “We are a human institution and these things are bound to happen so let us forget about it and forge ahead”.
Story: Ezekiel E. Sottie