Editorial: Amend Article 243. (1) of the 1992 Constitution for Article 78. (1)

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Author: Boah Augustine.

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Chapter Twenty of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, under Article 243 clause 1 states: There shall be a District Chief Executive for every district who shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the Assembly present and voting at the meeting. 

Clause 2 of this Article outlines the duties of the District Chief Executive as Clause 3 also states how the office of the District Chief Executive can be vacant. 

This very Article has been useful until recently problems have started emanating. One considered section of the above stated Article is that “…. _with the prior approval of not less than two-thirds majority of members of the Assembly present and voting at the meeting”. And this is where the concern of the Local Government is developing. 

It was right in the beginning as stated in Article 248. (1) _”A Candidate seeking election as a District Assembly or any lower local government unit shall present himself to the electorate as an individual, and shall not use any symbol associated with any political party.

(2) _A political party shall not endorse, sponsor, offer a platform to or in any way campaign for it against a candidate seeking election to a District Assembly or any lower local government unit”.

This Entrenched Article was real until we witnessed how it was violated and abused during 2019 District Level Elections. We also saw how political parties were contrary to Article 248. (2).

It means the local government system which should have been free from any political dictations are now under political influences. And it is very obvious to know that up to date some Districts have not been able to elect Presiding Members as stated in Article 244. 

(1): _The District Assembly shall have a Presiding Member who shall be elected by the Assembly from among its members.

(2) _The Presiding Member shall be elected by at least two-thirds majority of all the members of the Assembly.

(3) _The Presiding Member shall- (a) preside over the meetings of the Assembly (b) perform such other functions as may be prescribed by law.

 To that effect, how much more a District Chief Executive could that be easy to be elected by this same Assembly Member?

My Take:

Article 243. (1) must be amended through *Referendum* for Article 78. (1) _”Minister of State shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of Parliament from among members of Parliament or persons qualified to be elected as a member of Parliament, except that the majority of Minister of State be appointed from among members of Parliament”, or any legal means.

In fact, since many District Assemblies have not been able to elect Presiding Members so shall it going to be happening after 2021 during the election of various District Chief Executive. 

Boah Augustine (Editor-Sefwinews.com)

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