General News of Tuesday, 29 April 2014


CHRAJ, EC have failed Ghanaians - Lawyer Abotsi

Dean of Law at Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Ernest Kofi Abotsi has lashed out at the country's oversight bodies for failing to hold in check the executive as per their core mandate.

Mr Abotsi said the president, for instance, appears powerful because those state institutions have not been effective enough in the discharge of their functions.

He made these remarks on Monday, April 28 at the inauguration of the National Interest Dialogue in Accra.

The Dialogue is expected to serve as a standing mechanism for promoting broad-based and inclusive participation of political parties in national issues.

“No democracy thrives without dialogue between political opponents,” said Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG).

“[The dialogue] must look at how policies or inequalities can be dealt with,” Dr Akwetey added.

It is part of a three-prong approach reached by the Institute together with the Civic Forum Initiative and the National Peace Council. The three bodies are also requesting multi-party reforms prior to the 2016 elections.

Speaking during the inauguration, Mr Abotsi expressed worry about the seeming ineffectiveness of bodies such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Electoral Commission (EC) as regards the powers of the presidency.

“The president may appear powerful because other constitutional bodies such as CHRAJ may not have been active or strong enough,” he admitted.

“The president may appear powerful because the Electoral Commission may not have been as strong and effective as it would have been envisaged. The NCCE among others,” he added.

He adduced that the powers of the president must be scrutinized by these constitutional bodies.

“But these oversight functionaries or authorities have failed,” he lamented.

The Dialogue was inaugurated under the topic: “The Urgency for Multi-Party Governance (MDG) Reforms before 2016 Elections”.