Cletus Avoka, former Majority Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Zebilla, says the death penalty clause must be expunged from the constitution and rather put in the Acts of Parliament for easy amendment when it becomes necessary.
According to him, putting the death penalty clause in the Acts of Parliament would make it easy to be amended in the near future when the need arises.
Speaking at a dialogue meeting on the constitution review process organized by the Catholic Secretariat in Accra, Mr. Avoka said, ‘Instead of putting the death penalty in the constitution, we must try and put it in the Acts of Parliament to make it easy when we want to change.
‘Trying to put the death penalty in the constitution might be met with some resistance, which could affect the whole constitution amendment process.’
He said the constitution review process is a very critical matter and urged Members of Parliament (MP) to consider it with all the seriousness it deserves.
Mr. Avoka said the review of the constitution involves two processes, amendment of normal provisions in the constitutions and also amendment of the entrenched position in the constitution, entreating Ghanaians to approach the whole process with sobriety, circumspection, dedication and commitment.
He said, ‘It is not easy to amend a constitution which is the heartbeat of the life of the people of this country. So if there is a need to amend the constitution, then all Ghanaians must be stakeholders and get involved in order to get good laws at the end of the day.’
Mr. Avoka said the MPs must consider the mood of the country and think of the welfare of the people of Ghana when passing laws.
He was of the view that Ghanaians would turn up to vote in the referendum, stating that ’40 percent of registered voters must turn out to vote with regards to the entrenched position.
‘Out of the 40 percent turnout voters, 75 percent must vote in favor of the amendment. Otherwise we can’t amend the constitution.’
This, he said, calls for a lot of public education and understanding of the issues involved.
‘That is why the media and all stakeholders must get involved to ensure a smooth process of the amendment,’ Mr. Avoka said.
He urged the MPs to look at the whole process devoid of partisanship, adding ‘otherwise we can’t have a successful amendment.
He commended the Catholic Secretariat and the Catholic Bishop Conference for making the constitutional amendment process successful.
By Cephas Larbi [email protected]
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