Review 1992 Constitution to make it devt, people-centred – PPP

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The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has reminded the citizenry on the need to have the 1992 Constitution reviewed to make it development-oriented and people-centred.

It also declared December 7, every year as Fix the Constitution Day.

“With the current dictatorial and winner takes all, constitution which allows to create, loot and share by all parties that have been in power since 1992; the future does not look exciting hence the need to review it,” the party stated.

Felix Ograh, the First Vice Chairman of PPP, said the party had thus highlighted five key areas in the Constitution which needed to be immediately amended before the 2024 general elections.

He mentioned election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), total separation of powers, separation of the Office of the Attorney-General from the Ministry of Justice, introduction of Public Declaration of Assets Regime, and clarification of eligibility of Ghanaians in the Diaspora to hold public office.

According to Mr Ograh, the current regime where MMDCEs were appointed instead of elected, undermined tenets of democracy upon which the Republican status of Ghana was established, adding that “this has led to reduction of Office of the Chief Executive Officer of metropolitan, municipal and districts to mere political party cronies who can neither become Members of Parliament (MPs) nor Ministers of State.

“It is not surprising, as tradition, to see current general secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) travelling around the country to conduct vetting of applicants mostly, party foot soldiers who have applied to become MMDCEs.

Mr Ograh questioned how a political party became substitute for established Public Services Commission for vetting and appointing of candidates to occupy public offices.The election of MMDCEs would ensure resources allocated by District Assembly Common Fund, local probity, accountability, transparency, elimination of corruption, and rapid socioeconomic development.

He demanded amendments to Articles 78(1) and 88 of the Constitution to separate the Office of the Attorney-General from the Ministry of Justice because current mixed Westminster-Presidential regime had hampered Parliament’s ability to exact transparency and accountability from the Executive, on behalf of citizens, which had led to every MP to look up to the president for ministerial appointment, and immediate priority was not to check the government against malfeasance.

Mr Ograh indicated that the practice had blurred checks and balances, resulting in compromised Parliament which was obviously ineffective and inefficient in scrutinising activities of the Executive to guarantee judicious application of nation’s resources.

“It is our position if MP is appointed as minister or accept any other appointment by the president, then he/she must resign his seat before taking up appointment and people seeking to become public officers must choose to either become part of Legislature or Executive,” the PPP said. 

SOURCE: Nii Otu Dadeban Ankrah

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