Stop politicising assembly polls—CODEO

afariA Senior Research Officer of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Edward Ampratwum has noted that the creeping signs of partisan politics being introduced to the district level elections could have serious effects on the concept.

“The   non- partisan concept of the district assembly processes are being eroded by   partisan politics thereby destroying the system in the country,” he said.

He therefore urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to crack the whip on aspiring assembly members, who engaged in   partisan campaigns in the run-up to the March 3 polls.

Mr. Ampratwum made the observation here on Monday at a forum, when he gave an overview of the decentralisation concept and the role of assembly members.

The one-day capacity building workshop was organised by CODEO   for women, the youth and people living with disabilities, who are contesting the district level elections

It formed part of CODEO’s programmes to enhance citizens’ participation and deepening the decentralisation process.

The programme which targets 350 aspiring assembly members, would also be held in the Ellembelle, Jomoro, Wassa Amenfi West,Prestea Huni Valley,Aowin-Suaman and the Bia districts of the Western Region.

He said the law states that, no political party should be allowed to endorse or canvass for votes for a candidate, cautioning that, there were penalties for such breaches.

An assembly member, the Research Officer explained, should be elected in his or her individual capacity and not on any political party’s platform.

Mr. Ampratwum said since the concept began in 1988 most of the assembly members have failed to perform creditably thus the electorate have lost interest in voting during local elections.

He further observed that, if the assembly concept was really working, there would have been no need for the declaration of a National Sanitation Day, saying that, the various district assemblies should be able to raise revenue and be well resourced to tackle their sanitation challenges.

On the responsibilities of the assembly members, he explained that, their duties were to seek the welfare and concerns of their communities which include health, sanitation, waste management, water, illegal mining and education.

From Clement Adzei Boye, Shama

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