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Former Head of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Justice Emile Short, has described as misplaced and inappropriate, the appointment of an Inspector General of Police and the Chief Justice by Presidents.
According to him, the President’s appointments should be strictly restricted to his ministers and cabinet members while the appointments of Heads of institutions and Public officials is reserved for the various institutions involved.
Speaking at the roundtable discussion organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Mr. Short argued that the practice stifles democracy in the country and leaves the appointees in a compromising situation where they are unable to fully exhibit objectivity in the dispensation of their duties for fear of offending the sitting government.
“Should we continue to have the President appointing the IGP? It doesn’t promote democracy. Why should the President have a hand in appointing the IGP? What has that got to do with running the government? The President should just appoint his or her ministers and leave other institutions to participate in the appointment of the IGP, Chief Justice and so on”, he opined.
He argued further how much of a problem the practice creates for the entire governance structure of the country.
"That is a very problematic issue because you find that the IGP and the police are not able to deal with issues… the police are not able to work in an objective manner because they are always looking at the back of their shoulders to determine whether they might offend the sitting government or not”, he maintained.
He maintained that the provision captured in Ghana’s Constitution should be reviewed and abolished to ensure that independence of these bodies is guaranteed.
He further urged that Ghanaians, particularly, stakeholders and politicians, scrutinize and question the constitution to push for a change where some provisions are debatable.
The Inspector-General of Police is appointed by the President acting in consultation with the Council of State according to Chapter 15, article 202 (1) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Chapter 11, 144 (1) also states: The Chief Justice shall be appointed by the President acting in consultation with the Council of State and with the approval of Parliament.
The event organized by the IEA and dubbed: "Winner-Takes-All Politics in Ghana; The case for a review of the Appointing powers of the President", came off Wednesday June 21 at the institute's premises in Accra.
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