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Business News Mon, 17 Jan 2022

Economic policy analyst advocates for urgent constitutional reform

Mr. Senyo K. Hosi, an Economic Policy Analyst, has advocated for a reform of Ghana’s Constitution to reflect the democracy the people need.

The Economic Policy Analyst made the call in his presentation at the Constitutional Day Public Lecture organised by the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Law School on the topic “Avoiding the Impending Death of the 1992 Constitution”.

Mr. Hosi said some of the reforms he was advocating were already covered in various forms in the Constitutional Review Commission report of 2011.

He recommended the deepening of the separation of powers of the three arms of government, depoliticization of governance and democratic institutions, and also the depoliticization of security agencies.

The rest are depoliticization of the nation’s accountability institutions, all state agencies, including State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), regulatory bodies and agencies, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), the public funding of political parties.

“First, we need to ensure true separation of the Legislature and the Executive. We must enforce full separation of powers and expunge any requirement or option for the executive to appoint any member of the legislature as a minister or member of a board of the enterprises and agencies of the State,” he stated.

“The legislature cannot be a player and referee at the same time.”

He advocated for a consensual democracy and the establishment and management of a bipartisan national economic development agenda-one owned by all stakeholders.

Mr. Hosi also recommended the re-conscientization of Ghanaians with the values needed for their social and economic transformation.

He said to entrench the independence of the Judiciary from the Executive, the authority to appoint members of the judiciary from the lower courts to the appeals court must be made the exclusive preserve of the Judicial Council, which should be required to adopt an open and public evaluation process.

He said nominations to the supreme court, and the Chief Justice should equally emanate from the Judicial Council but be subject to the approval of two-thirds of the members of Parliament.

“I believe this will force consensus and make both majority and minority co-own confidence in the Judiciary,” Mr. Hosi said.

“It will also disincentivize potential political activism from the bench, a situation that erodes confidence in the judiciary and the very core of our values, freedom, and justice.”

He also recommended that the Judicial Council be reconstituted to, in addition to the President’s and institutional nominees, including nominees also from the opposition.

He said the independent institutions must, however, dominate the council and must not be subject to the direct or indirect influence of the Executive.

He called for the depoliticization of the nation’s governance and democratic institutions, stating that these institutions comprise National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the National Media Commission (NMC), and especially the Electoral Commission (EC) were core to the sustenance of our democracy.

He said the management of the appointment of the EC had in recent times had been fraught with so much mistrust and political polarization.

“The poor consultative process in the appointment of Charlotte Osei, the infamous manoeuvring to oust her and the equally non-consensual process in appointing Jean Mensah do not augur well for our democratic stability,” he said.

“I shudder to think of what the NDC (National Democratic Congress) will do should they assume office with a Jean Mensah in office. This tells us that the system is not working for ‘We The People’.”

Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader in Parliament, called for the strengthening of Parliament to enable it to deliver on its constitutional mandate.

Dr. Dominic Ayine, Member of Parliament (MP), Bolgatanga East, reiterated that Ghana’s constitutional system would endure for a very long time to come.

Professor Ernest Kofi Abotsi, Dean, UPSA Law School, said the 1992 Constitution would in April this year be 30 years old, stating that 30 years in the life of the Constitution was enough for Ghanaians to say they were grown.
Source: GNA