Time to whittle down appointing powers of president - Lecturer

President Nana Akufo Addo And IGP George Akuffo Dampare1111 President Akufo-Addo with IGP Dampare

Sun, 15 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Constitution gives president wide appointing powers

Experts want some powers curtailed

Lecturer wants especially heads of security agencies to be 'free' from executive

Dr Seidu Alidu, a senior lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of Ghana, has added his voice to calls for a review of presidential powers relative to appointing persons to critical positions of the democratic architecture.

He cited among others, presidential powers to make appointments of heads of the judiciary and security services, as an area that needed to be looked at with urgency.

In an interview with the state-run Daily Graphic, Dr. Seidu explained that most of the positions in question are supposed to act as means of constitutional "checks and balances" but by virtue of the heads being appointed by the president, that power to 'check' the executive is undermined.

“So such a power makes these organs that were supposed to be equal or checking the power of the Executive to become subservient to the Executive and that is what we need to look at.

"The appointment of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), the appointment of the IGP, the Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service and the Chief Fire Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, among other positions, are very important to maintaining the security of the state,” he said.

Aside the Chief Justice and heads of the security agencies, he also mentioned other positions like the Auditor-General and the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, as sensitive democratic institutions of state that needed to be detached from executive appointments.

Dr. Alidu pointed out that the security agencies are sometimes hamstrung in taking certain decisions as a result of political interference arising from the fact that their top leadership are appointed from the presidency.

He proposed that the security forces in particular could find a way to appoint their top leadership from within the ranks without any input from the Executive arm of government.

He is not the first to call for a curtailing of presidential powers in general and that of appointments in particular.

Recently, former Speaker of Parliament, Aaron Mike Oquaye also called for amendments to the Constitutional provision that mandates majority of ministers to be elected from Parliament.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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