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General News of Saturday, 22 February 2020


I regret GBA boycott of 1992 constitution drafting – Former president

Sam Okudzeto is a former president of the Ghana Bar Association play videoSam Okudzeto is a former president of the Ghana Bar Association

A former president of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto, says he’s regretted the decision of the association to boycott the drafting of the 1992 constitution.

He says even though the association wasn’t happy about the groups that were participating in the consultative assembly, they should have stayed on to ensure the constitution was properly written.

“The consulate assembly was boycotted by the bar association because they brought hairdressers and all manner of groups which know next to nothing about constitution or constitutionalism and constitution-making to clog the consulate assembly.

On hindsight, I’ve regretted that the bar boycotted it, they should still have been there to influence it,” Sam Okudzeto told Rev Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong in an interview on GTV’s What is Next?

According to the Council of State member, the absence of persons with knowledge on constitutionalism resulted in the drafting of a constitution which gives too much power to the president which shouldn’t be so.

“…that was done by the PNDC chaps in the consulate assembly because they do not want power to go away from their leader.”

Among powers he described as excessive for the president are the appointment of MMDCEs as well as board members and chairpersons of all government institutions.

“…the constitutional review commission has gone into all these and many of us have made presentations to them and the recommendations that they have made was to take away some of these excessive powers and even to have the MMDCEs elected.”

Sam Okudzeto is, therefore, appealing to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to revisit the recommendations made by the constitutional review commission and have the citizens vote on it.

“There is no reason why that document cannot be brought back… we can vote upon it and have a proper amendment. Look at the whole document and see that for the purposes of governance, it is better that power is diffused. The concentration of power is always dangerous even for you the president.”

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