Tenure of MMDCEs can’t be tied to President-– Supreme Court

Story: News Desk

The Supreme Court has ruled that the tenure of office of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) is not tied to that of the President.

It thus noted that a 2021 directive by the Presidency asking such officials to remain at post was unnecessary.

“We have taken judicial notice of the fact that the appointment of MMDCEs by the President takes months after the President is sworn into office. We have also taken judicial notice of the fact that the approval process by the Assembly runs into weeks and in some cases months with some approval processes going into a second and third round of voting. As such, the starting and ending point for calculating the four-year tenure of the MMDCEs differ depending on when two-thirds of the Assembly approved them. In our opinion, the directive from the Office of the President to the MMDCEs “to remain at post until further notice” was unnecessary because their tenure of office was not tied to that of the President”. 

President of the seven-member Supreme Court panel Justice Nene Amegatcher stated.

This is the unanimous decision of the court in the case of Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor v Attorney General. The South Dayi MP had contended the said directive from the presidency amounted to appointing Acting MMDCEs which is alien to the constitution.

The court took the view that the said terms of the position is well defined in the constitution. An occupant of the position remains at post unless his four-year tenure approved by the assembly has elapsed, he is removed from office by the President, resigns or dies or a vote of no confidence supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members of the district assembly is passed.

The court further noted that MMDCEs are not political office holders. They are equally not elected on partisan lines. It thus pointed out that they do not fall within the category of office holders that cease to hold office once a new president assumes office.

The court unanimously dismissed the case filed by the legislator. Other panel members aside from Justice Nene Amegatcher were Justices Victor Jones Dotse, Prof Nii Ashie Kotey, Mariama Owusu, Lovelace Johnson, Gertrude Torkonoo and Prof Henrietta Mensah Bonsu.

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