Parliament To Watch Discretionary Powers Of President
Nene Abayaateye Amegatcher, President of the Ghana Bar Association, has said Ghana required national policies to bind governments to decisions made by their predecessors.
He said Parliament must also refrain from passing laws vesting unrestrained discretion in the President and that these measures are crucial to curtailing partisanship and preservation of national unity.
Nene Amegatcher was speaking at the 2013-2014 annual general conference of the Association in Ho, under the theme, “the role of the Legal Profession in Developing a Public Private Partnership (PPP) regulatory framework for national development.”
He said “Section 12 of the recent Presidential Transition Act that provides for the automatic dissolution of all boards on the assumption of office of a new President is a regrettable addition which promotes division and partisanship rather than unity.”
Nene Amegatcher said conventions must be adopted to complement the constitutional provisions for national development, and to meet changing challenges.
“Conventions are an instrument of national cooperation and the spirit of cooperation is as necessary as the Constitution itself,” he said.
He said conventions could be developed to enable key stakeholders to be consulted by the President before certain appointments though not binding could be made as this would enrich the process and democratic governance.”
Nene Amegatcher questioned the propensity of governments to change for instance Vision 2020 to Vision 2015, the duration of the Senior High School from three years to four years and again back to three years.
“Why should we have one government build and give a name Jubilee House to the Presidential lodge only for another to change it to Flagstaff House without any national debate whatsoever?”
He identified corruption as one of the serious challenges that the country must tackle.
“We must declare a national crusade against corruption. We must be willing to put in place bold and audacious measures…” Nene Amegatcher said.
On the international front, he called on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group to reconsider the decision to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka following the dismissal of that country’s Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake “after an unfair impeachment process that was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court.”
Nene Amegatcher said “Sri Lanka has demonstrated complete disregard for the Rule of law and judicial independence.”