PM Deans push for reforms to decentralisation system

Deans of Presiding Members (PMs) from all the 16 regions have called for reforms in the decentralisation system in the country.

They named some of the reforms as the improvement in the funding sources for assemblies, payment of improved sitting and ex-gratia allowances charged on theb Consolidated Fund and election of PMs should be by a simple majority.

The Deans said there should also be contests between the winner and the first runner-up should no candidate attain more than fifty percent of the votes in an election involving more than two contestants.

They requested that the tenure of PMs be streamlined with the country’s four-year election cycle just like every other elected office holder and appealed to the Speaker to provoke reforms in Parliament to avoid unfair and disruptive situations andthe situation where PMs are made to face an Electoral College every two years should stop.

Joseph Korto, National Dean of Presiding Members, who led his colleagues to pay a courtesy call on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, and presented a petition to him, stated that “as it is now, the President is elected and made to hold office for four years, so are Speaker of Parliament, Members of Parliament (MPs) and members of Unit Committees.

However, he said, for some reason, PMs were only elected toa tenure of two years and also asked for consideration of improvement in the conditions of service of Assembly members.

Mr Korto, who doubles as the Dean of Presiding Members in Greater Accra, urged the Speaker to initiate amendments to the Local Governance Act to engender fairness at all levels of governance.

Congratulating Mr Bagbin on his elevation to the position of third highest officeholder of the land, he praised him and expressed the hope that the necessary reforms would be done.

Mr Bagbin thanked them and acknowledged their indispensability inlocal governance,  noting that the District Assembly concept was good concept, as it was not supposed to be partisan. The Speaker expressed regret that some people want to politicise the system and appealed to them to develop themselves to become conversant with the relevant law. -GNA

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