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General News of Sunday, 15 June 2014

Source: radioxyzonline.com

Ghana’s Parliament a slave of the Executive – Aggrey Darko

Ghana’s Parliament has always been “subservient” to the Executive and will continue to be unless the Executive’s influence on the Legislature is watered down, a University of Ghana Political Science Lecturer, Dr. Evans Aggrey Darko, has said.

“The institutional architecture that we have, if it continues this way, parliament will always play second fiddle to the Executive; parliament will always be a subservient parliament and what we have now is a subservient parliament, fundamentally,” Dr Aggrey Darko said in an interview with Radio XYZ’s Strict Proof programme.

He disagrees with former Legislator, Hackman Owusu Agyemang’s argument that amending the Constitution to allow the President the choice of appointing virtually all his Ministers from outside parliament will end up weakening the legislature.

Currently, the 1992 Constitution requires that the President chooses majority of his Ministers from Parliament. Some governance experts believe that a constitutional injunction robs Parliament of its oversight powers and thus weakens its watch dog role vis-à-vis the Executive.

Arguing to the contrary, Mr. Owusu Agyemang, says the presence of MP-Ministers in the Chamber rather strengthens the Legislature. Dr. Aggrey Darko, however, believes until there are better checks and balances, Ghana’s Parliament will be a perennial rubber stamp.

“…The Legislature, Executive, Judiciary must have separate powers and then there’ll be ambition counteract[ing] ambition. There’ll be pushing and shoving. Equilibrium will then be established,” he argued.

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