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Politics Tue, 1 Jun 2010

Market woman questions country's constitutional rule

Obuasi, June 1, GNA - A 63-year-old fish-seller at Obuasi dropped a bombshell at the Constitutional Review Consultative meeting when she took a swipe at the practice of constitutional rule in the country. Maame Ama Danso said she was confused as to why constitutional rule had given birth to total disrespect for authority by a section of the Ghanaian people, as they insulted leaders at will.

"I am yet to understand the meaning of constitutional governance as people insult Presidents just like that. During ex-President Kufuor's time people were insulting him and the same behaviour is going on under President Mills", said Maame Ama who was called to contribute to a discussion on the tenure of office of the President.

She continued, "I am at a loss as to why the Police and other law enforcement agencies are looking on unconcerned about this unacceptable attitude in our society".

A number of participants, however, called for a review of the tenure of office of the President from the current four years to a six-year term. Other provisions in the constitution which participants suggested a change included the President nominating a majority of ministers from parliament, the absence of a ceiling on the number of ministers the President can appoint and the overlapping of functions of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Electoral Commission.

Some participants maintained that the NCCE should be well-resourced to undertake extensive civic education, including the electoral processes to minimise the waste of ballot papers during elections. On the indemnity clause, some participants were of the view that the President should be held accountable for his or her stewardship and that the clause should be quashed from the constitution.

In a speech read for him, Akenten Apea Menkah, member of Consultative Review Commission, noted that the review of the Constitution represented nothing more than good housekeeping for the nation and also an attempt by the people of Ghana to fashion out "home-grown solutions to our governance problems".

Mr Kofi Dwomoh Asubonteng, Obuasi Municipal Co-ordinating Director, observed that it was in order that "at a point in time reflections are made to bring the constitution in tune with the demands of the time." The catholic Bishop of Obuasi, the Most Reverend Gabriel Justice Anokye, who presided, said the consultative meeting was a useful exercise to consolidate the country's constitutional rule. 1 June 10

Source: GNA