A Former Local Government Minister, Kwadwo Adjei Darko, has shot down suggestions by a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Democratic Governance, (IDEG), Mr. Kwesi Jonah, for the establishment of District Development Advisory Councils at the local government level, modelled after the constitutional body, the Council of State.
According to Adjei Darko, the structure of the district assemblies is such that the establishment of a Development Advisory Council would be superfluous.
Speaking on Space FM’sMorning Flight 877 hosted by Dickson Smith, the former Sunyani West legislator said members of the assemblies are elected to perform several functions including advising the District Chief Executive, (DCE) on programmes and policies of the assemblies.
“Why must we have another body advising the assemblies when assembly members are doing the same thing”, he asked adding that the establishment of such a council may breed corruption in the long run.
In Mr. Jonah’s proposal, the District Development Advisory Councils would comprise chiefs and other marginalised groups in local governance, and provide the opportunities for such groups to effectively participate in governance without breaching the law.
But Adjei Darko said it unnecessary since it would not serve any better purpose in the assemblies.
In the proposal for District Development Advisory Councils, Mr. Jonah said it would give the chiefs the dignity of participating effectively in the development of their communities, while ensuring that there was no departure from the constitutional provision of chiefs not engaging in active party politics.
Mr. Jonah also proposed that the 30 per cent members appointed by the government to the various assemblies should be abolished.
That was because the original intention of the policy, that is, to fill the assemblies with technical experts, was now being abused.
In its place, Mr. Jonah proposed the election of members on the basis of the mixed proportional representation system.
He explained that the system ensured the reservation of seats exclusively for a category of persons, thus, qualified persons for the particular seats would go through the normal elections to fill them.