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Akufo- Addo's too-large-Government wins Asare-Prempeh

Akufo Addo Mess President Akufo-Addo

Sun, 9 Apr 2017 Source: Lungu, Prof.

By: Prof Lungu

"...Newsflash!...this is an aligned...critique of aspects of Mr. Cameron Duodu's recent 'dynamic government' versus 'government too large' essay, and the 2010 joint paper by Professors...Asare and...Prempeh, titled in part...'Is the Imperial President Trespassing?'...Crucially, like many observers..., we also agree that the appointment of 110 individuals as ministers, deputy ministers, and sub-deputies is an overkill...President Akufo Addo has his carts before the horses...

President Mills,...did not only have the foresight....he had the fortitude to use his...political capital to setup an expert, non-partisan body to review the issues with all stakeholders...the constitution...

'Too large government' is in truth prima facie case for the actual and creeping imperial presidency that a Ghana-centered lawyer...would quickly recognize for exactly what it is not....Tell us why President Mills was 'Imperial President' and Akufo Addo isn't...", (Prof Lungu 1 Apr 17).

Newsflash!

Newsflash!

Newsflash!

President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufu Addo, a.k.a., NADAA, and his 110-Man Strong Cameron Duodu "Too Large Government", have, by this notice, won the Professor Stephen Kwaku Asare & H. Kwasi Prempeh "Imperial President" Award.

Yep, we've declared it already won!

Respectfully, these are no "unkind" words by Prof Lungu, columnist on this and other Ghana-interest portals.

Substantially, this is an aligned and integrated critique of aspects of Mr. Cameron Duodu's recent "dynamic government" versus "government too large" essay, and the 2010 joint paper by Professors Stephen Kwaku Asare and H. Kwasi Prempeh, titled, "Amending the Constitution of Ghana: Is the Imperial President Trespassing?" At bottom is NADAA's expansive, untested, unregulated, agenda for Ghana.

RE-VISITING THE ASARE-PREMPEH "IMPERIAL" PRESIDENCY THESIS

Notwithstanding the span of time since that "Imperial President" essay by Professors Asare and Prempeh, the integrative factor here is, on one side, President Akufo Addo's expansive and still expanding agenda for additional agencies and personnel, including the appointment of extra ministers, deputies and sub-deputies. On the other side, today, is the hollering and push-back against a "government too large" (Cameron Duodu, 18 Mar 17) and by many other individuals.

Then, couple all that with the "imperial presidency" thesis advanced by Professors Asare and Prempeh during the Mill-Mahama administration. Properly considered, on account of President Akufo Addo's dramatically expansive agenda for government and the public outcry for review and amendment of the warts-infested Rawlings Constitution, there is today a need for conciliation of the various threads on public policy grounds, if only from a neutral and apolitical point of view.

Crucially, like many observers today, we also agree that the appointment of 110 individuals as ministers, deputy ministers, and sub-deputies is an overkill and will poorly serve Ghana precisely because of the "unprecedented challenges" President Akufo Addo himself has indicated Ghana now faces.

This is the 21st century!

In this and other matters we've written about of late, including our exhaustive multi-part paper on the 1-Voting District 1-Million Dollars where we demonstrated that Ashanti Region would be the biggest loser, we are arguing in part that Akufo Addo's policy of fattening government with individuals and ministries is legally and ethically bankrupt, and at core, a self-serving political ploy. In all these matters, it is relatively easy for neutral observers to recognize that several of Akufo Addo's programs for Ghana this global-age, including appointments of the 110 odd ministers demonstrate that constitutionally, President Akufo Addo has indeed "exceeded the limits of what the country expects of him."

Recent record shows that President Akufo Addo is increasingly becoming a tad un-serious. As far as we can tell, there is not a single objective paper about the need for those extra appointments, except perhaps, what is in the head of President Akufo Addo.

Except perhaps, that he, as President, knows that he has authority to make those appointments and creations, take it or leave it!

Surely, that is not how it is supposed to work in any serious government.

In serious democratic governments (and major corporations, even), proposals of that scope would be defended by responsible officials and a strong case demonstrating the need for "value" to be added, made before the public. What activities, for instance, are not getting done by existing positions that would be done by new hires? As best as we can estimate, what are the risks and costs to be incurred for a decision, one way or the other.

What data supports what?

President Akufo Addo has his carts before the horses.

Clearly, you do not dramatically increase the size of government and divisions within without sharing a rational plan with the public who pays taxes to fund those positions, particularly when one cannot point to express provisions in the controlling Constitution that permits those actions.

From our vantage point, it is obvious that "too large government" is in truth prima facie case for the actual and creeping imperial presidency that a Ghana-centered lawyer, if they are paying attention, would quickly recognize for exactly what it is not: Lean, effective, and objectively compassionate.

Further, it is evident to us that "too large government" is as well prima facie case for the idea that President Akufo Addo has little appetite to tackle the fundamental question, repair of the wart-infested Constitution. In fact, for what may come as a complete surprise to many individuals, repair of the Rawlings Constitution does not appear anywhere in the "New Patriotic Party (NPP) Manifesto for Election 2016".

We admit that the Asare-Prempeh "imperial presidency" paper and other related, as cited below, are of the same intent and spirit - efforts at spurring, in Ghana, rule-based institution-building and governance process improvement. To that point, we present the context of the case as argued by Asare and Prempeh themselves. In so doing, we hope to assist the reader conveniently assess Akufo Addo's marching orders based entirely on Akufo Addo's own promise to himself - that he would complete every project started by the government he took over from.

Here is the path to the Mills "imperial presidency" as described by Professors Prempeh and Asare:

"...In January 2010, Ghana‘s President John Atta Mills appointed a commission to review and propose amendments to the country‘s current constitution, in force since 1993. The constitutional instrument...tasked the nine-member body to ascertain from the people of Ghana, their views on the operation of the constitution,...its strength and weaknesses, articulate....amendments that might be required for a comprehensive review and make recommendations to government...A Ministry of Justice document setting forth the administration‘s agenda for constitutional reform identifies about forty specific provisions4 and omissions in the constitution as likely candidates for review and amendment, and the commission is directed to consider these pre-identified issues in its review. By its terms of reference, the commission‘s final work product must include a draft Bill for possible amendments to the constitution...".

To cut to the chase, President Mills, the former law professor, did not only have the foresight to recognize the need for revision of the Constitution, he had the fortitude to use his political capital to setup an expert, non-partisan body to review the issues with all stakeholders and for the group to provide a draft Bill "...for possible amendments to the constitution...".

We state here today that in 2017, as far as governance is concerned, there is nothing more important than completion of the work already started on that Rawlings Constitution, for Ghana.

TELL US WHY PRESIDENT MILLS WAS "IMPERIAL PRESIDENT" AND AKUFO ADDO ISN'T!

To be continued.....

SOURCES/NOTES 1. Cameron Duodu. Sorry, Mr. President; your government is too large, (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/Sorry-Mr-President-your-government-is-too-large-519974).

2. Stephen Kwaku Asare and H. Kwasi Prempeh. Amending the Constitution of Ghana: Is the Imperial President Trespassing?, (http://danquahinstitute.org/docs/AmendingtheConstitutionofGhana.pdf).

3. Prof Lungu. Winners & Losers: Akufo Addo's Million-Dollar Cash Giveaways to Voting Districts, (http://www.ghanahero.com/PROF_LUNGU_SAYS/2017-Ghana-Review/Winners_and_Losers_Akufo_Addo_Million-Dollar_Cash_to_Voting_Districts-Final.pdf).

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Columnist: Lungu, Prof.