General News of Monday, 4 December 2017
Even though Ghana has been touted as one of the pacesetters of true democratic practices on the African Continent, some authorities believe flaws in the country’s constitution leaves much to be desired.
According to Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, too much power has been vested in the President who has executive powers to take decisions making their positions since the beginning of the fourth republic look like ‘elected dictators’.
He proposes that there is an urgent need for constitutional reforms to scrap off some of the powers of the President if the country is indeed committed to practising true democracy.
“Natural practice, we have elected dictators. That is what we have set up in the constitution. There is no difference between them and the military leaders”, he disclosed in an address to Students’ Parliament at the University of Education, Winneba- Kumasi campus, on the theme, ‘Parliamentary democracy in Ghana- a practitioner perspective.’
“The President appoints everybody, the President is the head of the party, the President is the head of government, the President decides the budget, the President can decide even though you have approved the money for an item they won’t release the money there and you can’t do anything. Is that democracy, no!” he stated.
The Nadowli-Kaleo lawmaker blamed the constitution for all these reiterating the need for something to be done in order to change the system.
“In the cause of this constitutional amendment or revision, we have to take away a number of the scales we have given to the president. Right up from the time of Jerry John Rawlings to date we have been electing dictators. The NPP campaigned on a lean government and promised to reduce the number of Ministers from 84 but upon assuming power, they elected 110 and we are all powerless”, he stated.