Sunyani West Assembly Members Go Wild

A section of the peeved assembly members who boycotted the meeting

TWENTY-TWO members of the Sunyani West Assembly in the Brong-Ahafo Region are heading to court to sue the District Assembly, the District Coordinating Director (DCD) and the District Chief Executive for ‘acting ultra vires’ in the conduct of the assembly’s business.

Their concerns include the election of a presiding member (PM), constitution of subcommittees and approval of the 2016 composite budget which they say are not being done according to law – Act 462 Section 7 of the District Assemblies Act. They therefore walked out of the assembly’s meeting yesterday and are heading to the court to seek redress.

At a press briefing yesterday after walking out of the meeting – which was to elect a presiding member had proved futile for the second time – one of the two members who failed to garner the required two-thirds majority to be elected a presiding member, Bernard Oduro Takyi of Kwatire Electoral Area, said the procedure for electing a presiding member had been usurped by the district coordinating director because instead of members electing a presiding member, they are rather to elect a member to preside over a meeting.

This, he said, was wrong because the assembly had not exhausted all avenues of electing a PM.

According to him, they had tried only two times without electing a PM, and that the two persons who contested (Oduro Takyi himself and Kweku Asante) should be given another chance but not to heed a directive from the Local Government and Rural Development Minister to choose one of the assembly members to preside over proceedings.

In addition, the DCD could only convene an assembly meeting to elect a PM but not invite members to conduct the business of the house. Mr Oduro Takyi stressed that one of the items on the agenda for yesterday’s meeting – to discuss and approve  the 2016 composite budget of the assembly without first  a proper PM – was against provisions of the 1992 Constitution and Section 17 of the Local government Act (Act 462) of 1993.

Explaining further, Mr. Oduro, surrounded by some of the members who walked out, said they had not elected a PM, constituted subcommittees nor finance committee, let alone draw a budget. He did not understand the reason why all of a sudden members were faced with the task of discussing a budget thus, the walk-out.

Present at the press conference was the Sunyani West MP, Ignatius Bafour Awuah, who is not a voting member of the assembly.

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FROM Daniel Y Dayee, Sunyani

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