Minister: Blame NPP For Delay In Late Start Of Local Elections
Local Government Minister has dismissed assertions that his office is to blame for the delay in the organization of District level Government elections. Rather, Joseph Yieleh Chireh said the erstwhile New Patriotic Party failed to pass the Legislative Instrument (LI)for the creation of new electoral areas. The Electoral Commission could not organize the elections in August even though the tenure of office of the local assembly men had elapsed. The Minister was accused of not speeding up the process to have the LI passed. But in a strong defence the Minister told Members of Parliament he is not to blame for the delays. “You should be commending me for working on this. This thing started in 2002 and for six years the government then did not do anything. “But this year, when they brought the matter to me as Minister of Local Government, we fast-tracked the process and passed the LI. With your kind support this LI was passed. We did not delay anything and I have to emphasise that it is the nature of the work involved that this work is delaying. An MP who was not convinced with the response of the Minister cited the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy report 2008 which stated that the preparation for the LI got started and wondered why it had to take two more years before it was brought to Parliament. But Yieleh Chireh said the then Minister perhaps failed to send the document to cabinet for approval before proceeding to Parliament.