GDCA commends governments for protecting constitution

By
Albert Futukpor, GNA

Tamale, Sept. 14, GNA – The Ghana Developing
Communities Association (GDCA), a non-governmental organization, has commended
successive governments for protecting and defending the country’s 1992
Constitution but called for a review of the Constitution to address emerging
challenges.

The GDCA said “there are national debates on
matters such as excessive powers of the executive, winner-takes-all politics,
remuneration for Article 71 office holders amongst others,” which need to be
addressed through the review of the Constitution.

This was contained in a statement issued in
Tamale on Friday by the GDCA signed by Mr Phillip Gmabi, Technical Advisor on
Policy and Governance for Empowerment for Life Programme of GDCA, and copied to
the Ghana News Agency to mark this year’s International Day of Democracy.

The International Day of Democracy is
celebrated across the world to highlight the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Universal
Declaration on Democracy as an international standard to guide governments,
parliaments and citizens through the many challenges of democratic governments
around the world.

The statement said “fortunately, the
Constitutional Review Committee has considered a number of articles of our
Constitution, which must be reviewed suggesting that the recommendations of the
Committee must be implemented.

It highlighted the critical roles played by
the arms of government including the media saying “a day like this should serve
as a reflection on major weaknesses of these institutions, and demand urgent
actions for enhanced performance.”

The statement said “We observed threats to our
democracy when judicial corruption was exposed but got consoled when established
systems were used to address it. Similarly, Parliament has been hit with a
number of corruption allegations with many citizens expressing dissatisfaction
with the handling of such cases.”

It urged the public to get emboldened and
become active participants of the democratic growing process of the country
saying “disempowered citizens and their groups weaken the basic principle of
democracy and must be avoided.”

The statement said “On the occasion of
International Day of Democracy, GDCA challenges all citizens to show interest
and understanding of the basic tenets of democracy as it will make them active
citizens and true owners of our growing but fledgling democracy.”

It said “It is observed with great concern the
limited participation of most social groups in the country’s governance
processes in both local and national levels and therefore the request for
redirection of efforts to mitigate it.”

The statement said “Majority of citizens limit
democracy to election of leaders at local and national levels. If this is
understood as democracy, then citizens could best be described as kingmakers
with lack of capacity to question activities of kings they make.”

It called on the government to reflect on the
importance of this day and improve commitment to true decentralization and
devolution of powers saying “The decentralization of Ghana with crumbling down
of major procurement services and the limited number of town hall meetings
supposed to be organized by district assemblies to deepen democratic principles
are worrying.”

It said “Sub-district structures are
non-existent or exist in limited numbers recommending “The government must act
with urgency and empower district assemblies instead of using new policies to
weaken them.”

The statement said there is the need for
“government to work towards building consensus especially if the 2018 proposed
referenda are to be realized to enable a less politicized review and a
by-partisan implementation of the processes.”

GNA

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