General News Mon, 30 Jan 2006

Constitution to be reviewed -Apraku

The government is willing to undertake a review of the Constitution to address reservations on a number of constitutional issues raised in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report.

The constitutional issues include the transitional provisions, which the report said were inconsistent with a democratic constitution, and the inclusion of Members of Parliament in the Executive, which the report noted was in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers, checks and balances.

The Minister of Regional Cooperation and NEPAD, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, told a news conference in Kumasi on Saturday that President Kufuor, in his reaction to the call on Ghana to take a second look at the transitional provisions, told the fourth APRM meeting in Khartoum on January 22 that the provisions were entrenched in the Constitution, which demanded a referendum to remove them.

Dr Apraku said the President, however, gave the assurance that the necessary mechanism would be put in place to enable the people to decide on the issue.

The news conference was organised to update the media on details of the APRM meeting in Khartoum and how Ghana was preparing to implement the recommendations of the report.


Dr Apraku said the APRM was critical of the situation where Members of Parliament were appointed ministers of state and the appointment of a minister for Parliamentary Affairs.

However, the President gave the assurance that the Constitution would be looked at to ensure that the people decided what was right for the nation.

The APRM, the minister stressed, was not happy about internal conflicts in the country, especially in the areas of chieftaincy and land litigation, and said President Kufuor indicated that measures would be taken to rectify the situation.

He added that the President pointed out that if possible, a ministry of chieftaincy affairs would be set up. He said President Kufuor was pleased about the acknowledgement made by the report about the building of a democratic system with solid foundation for growth.

Another issue which Dr Apraku touched on was the perceived corruption in both the private and public sectors.


According to him, the President, in responding to concerns in the APRM report, said the government had not only declared zero tolerance for corruption but had also gone further to resource institutions mandated by the Constitution to check corruption.

The minister said the President was emphatic that the country was determined to explore the skills of Ghanaians abroad to complement the development process.

Dr Apraku said in reacting to the APRM?s concern about Ghana?s excessive dependency on foreign resources, President Kufuor said Ghana was working hard to wean itself of over dependency on foreign support.

He said the APRM was not the business of the NPP government, as some people sought to believe. Instead, it was documentation concerning the whole nation.

Dr Apraku said the $5 billion needed for the implementation of the APRM report would be generated locally, with support from other international organisations.

Source: Daily Graphic