Emile Short with Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, Chairman of the Committee at the press conference
The Advisory Committee of Experts of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has kicked against the country’s ‘Winner-Takes All’ system, calling for re-examination.
According to the eleven-member Committee, the ‘Winner Takes All’ syndrome is one of the main factors responsible for the growing polarization of the Ghanaian society, stating that ‘it is hurting the nation’s development.’
Justice Emile Short, who was addressing the media on behalf of the Committee, noted that despite several calls for the country to shun the ‘Winner Takes All’ system, no constitutional amendment had been proposed by the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC).
A bill had been tabled before parliament and a referendum on the proposals for constitution review is alleged to be slated for December 2014 without any indication that the ‘Winner Takes All’ issue was being addressed, he said.
Emile Short said the Committee had observed that there was limited public awareness on the proposals in the government’s White Paper and Constitutional Review Implementation Committee’s (CRIC) draft amendment bill and expressed concern about the speed with which the final stage of the constitution review process was being carried out.
He said the Advisory Committee had appealed to Government to slow down the pace of the current constitution review process to allow for more public discussion, consultation, education and sensitization on the contents of the government White Paper.
He said Government should create space and allow additional inputs that may come from the Committee’s proposed nationwide consultation process on WTA system.
He said public and civil society consultations, awareness and vigilance in the review of the constitution remain crucial to mitigating the growing potential threats of political agitation and social disintegration that the current system seems to be engendering.
Emile Short therefore called on all stakeholders to fully participate in all consultation relating to issues of constitution review and the proposed referendum.
This, he said, would enable the country to achieve a stable democratic governance system and ensure that the constitution review process reflects the collective will of Ghanaians.
Emile Short said the Committee intends to conduct nationwide public consultations with different groups, including the Ghana Bar Association, Trade Union Congress, Ghana National Association of Teachers, Christian Council of Ghana, Federation of Muslim Council and Ghana Journalists Association.
He said the public consultations would be held over a three-month period starting from middle of June 2014.
‘Through this process, the Committee hopes to bring about public awareness, understanding and participation on critical issues of national governance outlined for constitution review and to contribute to a more sustainable effort.’
By Cephas Larbi
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