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Politics of Monday, 25 April 2016

Source: Today Newspaper

Nduom jabs framers of 1992 Constitution

Presidential hopeful of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has taken a swipe at the framers of the 1992 Constitution for giving too many powers to the executive arm of government.

Dr. Nduom cannot understand why the constitution would allocate too much power to the President of the land, to the extent that, “the presidents of Ghana can do whatever they want.”

“Our president wields so much power than the American president or the British prime minister,” Dr. Nduom averred.

According to him, there is nowhere in the advanced countries where a president is more powerful than everybody including state institutions.

The PPP stalwart made these observations when he addressed political science students of the University of Ghana, Legon, including the leadership of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) on Friday, April 22, 2016, in Accra.

The programme christened; “Time with Legon” was organised by the University of Ghana SRC in collaboration with the Political Science Students Association (POSSA) of Legon, and it was themed: “Youth Empowerment: A key to National Development.”

He also bemoaned the role of the legislature, which he said, has failed to check the excesses of the executive.

“The legislature has become ineffective because those who have to scrutinise the president and his ministers are the same people sitting in Parliament, approving anything from the executive,” the veteran politician said.

For instance, he wondered why some contractual agreements in the past like the CNTC and CMBT loans, STL Korea deal among others were passed by Parliament without proper scrutinisation.

In his opinion, until there is complete separation of powers where MPs will not be made ministers of state, governance in this country would not see any development.

To this end, Dr. Nduom urged the youth to rise and challenge the government on the kind of policies it runs.

According to him, the youth have the power to change the status-quo “about the way we do things at both at national and regional levels.”

He, however, admonished them to always acquire more knowledge so as to enable them to challenge the system.

“We must work for change with knowledge, discipline and faith because without knowledge whatever one will say will be described as noise,” he added.

He further advised them to study the 1992 Constitution, especially Chapter Six, and other relevant sections to enable them impress on leadership to effect the needed change that would see Ghana develop.

Dr. Nduom, who is also an entrepreneur, lamented that the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), which is a constitutionally mandated institution, was not living up to expectation.

“We can only determine whether it [NDPC] is up to its task. When you read Article 82 of the constitution you will realise that its mandate is not just to come up with a 40-year development plan,” he stated.

He also used the occasion to call on the youth to make the right choice as the elections draw near, stressing that the choice “we make will go a long way to affect each and every one of us.”

He added: “I want you to remember that the choices that we make in an election year are not just for one year, and it is not just for two days, it is a choice that we make for four years, so we make those choices and we must choose good leaders who will take care of us every day, every week, every month until the time for another election is due, not people who will wait till election year, then they will come and say, remember I am your MP, remember I am your President. All I am saying is when we make choices we must live with those choices.”

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