The Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, Mr Richard Quashigah, has criticised the government for amending of the Local Governance Act (Amendment Bill 2017), which restored the power of the President to revoke the appointment of government appointees to district assemblies. The amendment was passed by Parliament on January 31, 2017. Mr Quashigah said the Majority also demonstrated bad faith by supporting the amendment of the bill which was passed in the last month of the last Parliament. He told the Daily Graphic in Accra that the Majority is demonstrating tyranny because they knew too well that this was a law passed barely a month ago." Mr Quashigah said the law had not been tried and tested, hence he wondered why the haste and rush to amend it. "Why will you necessarily want to get one third of appointees out just to replace them and have your members in the district assembly which is not supposed to be partisan? But this demonstration from the other side is that they see it as partisan," he said. Institutional memory The legislator said the appointees, who constituted a third of the assembly members, had worked in harmony with the elected members and therefore, had rich institutional memory, which was crucial for the work of the assemblies. Mr Quashigah said the new government appointees to the assemblies might not have the relevant experience to support the elected members to take decisions. "What will happen will be that only two thirds of members at the assembly level will be competent enough to take decisions. "These are people who are going to be watching and observing for some time. It will affect the flow of business at the district assembly," he said. Power of President Mr Quashigah said when the Local Governance Act was being passed, it was considered that the Constitution had given too much power for a bad President to have. He said the intent, therefore, was to minimise the too much power that a bad President would have at the district assembly level. Mr Quashigah said when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) came to power in 2009, the then President John Evans Atta Mills allowed all metropolitan, municipal and district assembly executives and other appointees to stay at post for three months. However, he said, the current government did not want the appointees to last for more than one month.
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