General News of Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Tema, June 16, GNA - Some residents in the Tema Metropolis had suggested that the President of Ghana and Members of Parliament (MPs) should be put on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).
They argued that being the Chief Administrator of the country, the President's salary must be determined by independent bodies that have the sole responsibility of determining the salaries of public and civil servants.
The residents made the call on Tuesday, at a forum organised by the Constitution Review Commission, to collate the views of the people on the intended review of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, in Tema. The event was chaired by Mr Emmanuel Adzei Annang, Greater Accra Regional member of the Council of State.
The participants said that independent bodies such as the Controller and Accountant-General's Department, Fair Wages Commission and the Labour Commission should be empowered to determine the remunerations of the President and MPs.
They said that the powers vested in the President to determine salaries, allowances and facilities of MPs and the Speaker of Parliament must be scrapped.
Mr. James S.E. De-Graft-Johnson, a lawyer, advocated a review of the opening of the voters' registration every two years. The lawyer, who was a consultant to the Consultative Assembly that drew the 1992 Constitution, said that the registration of eligible voters, who had turned 18 years and above, should be on-going instead of a periodic exercise.
Mr. De-Graft-Johnson said that registration of voters should be made flexible so that people could go to the district offices of the Electoral Commission anytime to register as soon as they attain 18 years. He said that the current registration system accounted for the long queues, misunderstandings, and accusations and counter accusations of political parties manipulating the registration system. Mr. De-Graft-Johnson said there was the need for Ghana to study the voters' registration system of New Zealand and the United Kingdom, which allow prospective voters to register at their own convenience. Mrs. Rose Sackey, Proprietress of Greenwich Christian International, called for the extension of the political transitional period from one month to at least two months.
She said that "voting on December 7th and handing over power to the succeeding government, on January 7th did not give ample time to the retreating government to efficiently hand over the necessary national assets and documents to the in-coming government."
Mrs Sackey suggested that the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections should be held in November, and the handing-over done in January. Other participants suggested that District Assembly Elections should be contested on the tickets of political parties, to reflect the true situation on the ground, since in their view, currently, political parties secretly sponsored the candidates.
The Very Reverend Professor Samuel K. Adjepong, Member of the Constitution Review Commission, said that whereas it had already been determined that the Constitution should be reviewed, it was yet to be determined whether a referendum would be held for its amendment or not. The Clergyman, who is also the Greater Accra Regional Commissioner for the Review, said that after collation of views from the public on the Constitution, it could be determined that Parliament should make amendment to the non-entrenched positions or a referendum held for the amendment or repeal of some entrenched positions. Mr. Robert Kempes Ofosuware, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, said that the review should be considered as an opportunity for Ghanaians to assist in addressing challenges encounted by the country's constitutional and democratic dispensation. He said that Government had demonstrated its commitment to democracy and good governance through the establishment of the Commission. 16 June 10 Attention recipients, item 02 ends first cast.