Tarkwa Nsuaem: Police Beat Up Assembly Members, Prevent Them From Voting MCE

The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has led group of policemen to help in the election of Mr Benjamin Kessie as the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) to the displeasure of majority of the Assembly members.

The situation which has generated serious tension in the District, will soon be filed for Court as majority of the Assembly members who could not vote because of the police intimidation, believe the ‘Rambo’ style with which the Regional Minister and his team of self-seeking individuals voted for Mr Benjamin Kessie as the MCE was “illegal and unconstitutional.”
This paper can report that, there was near chaos in Tarkwa Nsuaem on Friday May 22, 2020 when a Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) was elected and endorsed without the knowledge of the assemblymen.
It was established that a day before the said incident, some of the Assemblymen of the 43-men Assembly, got wind of a supposed meeting.
The venue of the said intended meeting was however not communicated to them, neither were they served invitation letters by their Presiding member of the said meeting.
Meanwhile, the Assembly members who through their own checks were able to locate the venue of the said meeting, upon reaching there were stopped and prevented by the policemen who corded the meeting venue.
The police present were seen in a viral video virtually beating and struggling with some of the Assemblymen who were locked outside the voting room.
A good number of the assembly members who have gotten notice of the meeting through third parties, including the Presiding Member, were unable to attend the meeting to vote, while those who sought entry were physically prevented and assaulted by the police.
In anger, these deprived Assembly members have vowed to take legal action against the Regional Minister for leading such unconstitutional assignment, stressing that the nominee was elected by less than half of the members in the Assembly.
From this paper’s checks Mr Benjamin Kessie was elected by less than 50 per cent of eligible assembly members, considering the fact that over 50 percent were prevented from the meeting that voted Mr Benjamin Kessie.
The assembly members who were prevented from voting by heavily armed policemen, have threatened to go to court to seek an injunction on the operations of the MCE since the meeting that elected him did not follow due process.
According to them, it is by law that the Presiding Member writes to members inviting them for meetings and that last Wednesday’s event which saw the election of Mr Benjamin Kessie, was done without the knowledge of the Presiding Member.
It could be recalled that last Wednesday, the Tarkwa Nsuaem Assembly voted to elect a new Presiding Member and as well, the MCE.
However after the voting session, a new Presiding Member, Emmanuel Gado was elected by 39 out of the 42 votes, while the MCE was rejected as he had 22 members voting yes and 20 voting no which did not give him the required two-thirds majority.
The decision was to have another voting within 10-days, but notices to vote on Friday, May 22, was not publicly announced but was carried out with the help of the Regional Minister and heavily armed policemen who virtually ‘kill’ assembly members who were struggling to have access to the venue to vote.
Speaking after the voting process, Mr. Justin Afful, an assembly member for Benso who was among those refused attendance, he rejected what transpired and insisted the result was unacceptable.
“Per our standing orders, members should be written to or informed via telephone call for assembly meeting or emergency meeting, none of these protocols were followed,” he said.

Mr Benjamin Kessie was nominated by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to replace Mr Gilbert Kennedy Asmah, the former MCE whose appointment was revoked but he could not secure the two-thirds majority votes required of him to become a victor, after the first round of voting, held at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) auditorium at Tarkwa.

By Prosper Agbenyega

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