Qualifications and disqualifications of members of District Assemblies

Ghana coat of arms
Ghana coat of arms
Qualifications and disqualifications of members of District Assemblies

1. A person qualifies to be elected or appointed to a District Assembly if the person

(a) is a citizen of Ghana of not less than eighteen years of age

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(b) is a registered voter

(c) is ordinarily resident in the district in which the person seeks election or for whose District Assembly the person is to be appointed; and

(d) has paid all taxes and rates or made arrangements satisfactory to the appropriate authority for the payment of the taxes and rates.

2. For the purpose of paragraph (c) of subsection (1), a person is deemed to be ordinarily resident in a district if within the four years before the election or the appointment to the District Assembly, that person has lived in the district for an aggregate period of not less than twelve months.

3. A person is not qualified to be elected or appointed to a District Assembly if that person.

(a) is of unsound mind

(b) has been sentenced to death or imprisonment for an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or violence or has been convicted of an offence under an enactment in force in the Republic

(c) is a person against whom adverse findings have been made by a competent authority and accepted by the Government

(d) being a professional person is disqualified from practicing that profession on grounds of malpractice, fraud or dishonesty by the competent professional body.

4. A member of staff of a District Assembly shall not be a member of the same District Assembly, whether elected or appointed.

5. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) and subsection (2) do not apply to the District Chief Executive.

6. A person shall not at any time be a member of more than one District Assembly.

Composition of District Assembly

Mode of seeking election of members of District Assemblies

1. A candidate who seeks election to a District Assembly or to any lower local government unit shall present that candidate’s self to the electorate as an individual and shall not use any symbol associated with any political party.

2. A political party shall not endorse, sponsor, offer a platform to or in any way campaign for or against a candidate who seeks election to a District Assembly or any lower local government unit.

3. A candidate who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to the cancellation of the nomination of that candidate by the Electoral Commission.

4. A political party that contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred penalty units and not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units.

Cessation of office of a members of District Assemblies
1. A person shall cease to be a member of a District Assembly

(a) upon death

(b) upon revocation of the mandate of that person, but that person shall be disqualified from standing as a candidate for only two terms immediately after the revocation

(c) upon resignation in writing addressed to the Presiding Member of the District Assembly

(d) if that person fails to disclose any financial interest that person may have in a contract before the District Assembly for consideration

(e) if that person is absent from more than three consecutive ordinary meetings of the District Assembly without the written permission of the Presiding Member of the District Assembly; or

Steps on creation of Districts and District Assemblies

(f) upon the dissolution of the District Assembly.

2. The District Assembly shall refer a complaint made to it that a member of the District Assembly has ceased to hold office under paragraphs (d) and (e) of subsection (1) to the Public Relations and Complaints Committee to investigate.

3. The Public Relations and Complaints Committee shall submit a report on its findings to the District Assembly within a time to be stipulated by the District Assembly.

4. Where the District Assembly, after studying the report is satisfied that a member is affected by paragraph (d) or (e) of subsection (1), it shall decide that the member shall cease to be a member of the District Assembly by resolution, supported by two thirds of members present and voting.

5. A member of the District Assembly who is aggrieved by a decision of the District Assembly about cessation of membership may have recourse to a court of law.

Revocation of mandate of members of District Assemblies
1. The mandate of an elected member of a District Assembly may be revoked by the electorate.

2. For the purpose of revoking the mandate of an elected member, twenty-five per cent or more of the registered voters in the electoral area may petition the Electoral Commission for a recall of that member from the District Assembly.

3. The Electoral Commission shall conduct a referendum to decide whether or not the member must be recalled.

4. The issue at the referendum shall be decided if at least

(a) forty per cent of the registered voters in the electoral area vote on the issue; and

(b) sixty per cent of the votes cast are in favour of the recall of the member.

5. Where an elected member of a District Assembly

(a) is recalled

(b) is removed

(c) resigns

(d) dies; or

(e) ceases to be a member by reason of section 9 (1) (e) a by-election shall be held to elect another person to replace the elected member.

6. Subsection (5) does not apply where the recall, removal, resignation or death occurs within six months before the end of the tenure of the elected member.

7. Whenever a vacancy occurs in a District Assembly in respect of an elected member, the Secretary to the Assembly shall notify the Electoral Commission in writing, within seven days after becoming aware that the vacancy has occurred and a by-election shall be held within thirty days after the vacancy occurred except that, where the vacancy occurred by the death of the elected member, the by-election shall be held within sixty days after the occurrence of the vacancy.

8. Where the occurrence of the vacancy is occasioned by the death of an appointed member, the Secretary to the Assembly shall notify the President through the Minister, of the occurrence of the vacancy and the President shall within thirty days, appoint another person to the District Assembly.

9. The appointment of an appointed member of a District Assembly may be revoked by the President,

(a) upon the recommendation of three-fourths of the members of the District Assembly on grounds that the member has

(i) systematically neglected the duties of an appointed member of a District Assembly; or

(ii) committed acts incompatible with the office as a member of the District Assembly for which sufficient evidence is available; or

(b) upon a complaint made of wrong doing or improper conduct established to be true after investigation by an ad-hoc committee of the District Assembly.

10. Where the appointment of an appointed member of a District Assembly is revoked, another person may be appointed to replace the appointed member.

11. A person appointed under subsection (10) shall serve the term of the member whose appointment has been revoked and may be re-appointed.

Emoluments of members of District Assemblies

1. The emoluments of a District Chief Executive of a District Assembly shall be determined by Parliament and shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund.

2. The emoluments of a Presiding Member of a District Assembly and other members of the District Assembly shall be determined by the District Assembly and paid out of the District Assembly’s own resources.

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