General News of Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Ghana’s 1992 Constitution legitimises “elected dictatorship” of the presidency, former presidential candidate Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom has said.
The businessman and former Energy Minister told an audience in Accra, at a lecture to mark the second anniversary of the Progressive People’s Party that the oil-producing West African country’s Constitution is one of its many problems.
According to him, the 1992 Constitution not only “legitimised an elected dictatorship” but also “centralised our system of governance in a way that has left other arms of government weak to act and too poor to serve as an effective source of checks and balances."
Nduom believes decentralising the governance process in practical terms can help the situation and thus repeated his call for the need to elect Mayors, as well as District and Municipal chief Executives.
In his version of the State of the Nation Address titled, “Solutions for Ghana: A nation in crisis,” Dr Nduom repeated his stance on the need to amend the Constitution to separate the Attorney-General’s office from that of the Ministry of Justice to help fight corruption.
“Transparency, accountability, the truth and personal discipline are needed if we want to move Ghana into a higher level of performance and give our people the opportunity to enjoy a world-class standard of living in our lifetime,” he said.
He also suggested that the size of government (Ministers and Deputies) be made lean for effective governance.
“In total, we should not have more than 40 ministers at the centre and in the regions [including deputies].”
He believes once that is done, public services such as the National Development Planning Commission and the Ghana Statistical Service could be made more effective in providing policy advice and information while the Civil Service is strengthened to effectively run the ministries.
“I know that this is not a little matter. It is not one that will be easy – it has never been that way, as there are always lobbyists working for representation of one type or the other for their ‘sons and daughters’ in government. But it is a task that must be done,” he said.