CFI Makes A Case On Constitutional Amendments

The Civic Forum Initiative (CFI), an amalgamation of civic society organisation, has called for space in the constitutional amendment process for filling in of fundamental gaps in the proposed amendment of the 1992 Constitution.

The forum expressed concern about how the current proposed amendments could help address some fundamental challenges facing the country such as the increasing threat of intolerance and politically associated violence, the fear of marginalisation and political exclusion in terms of both intra and inter party governance and the politicisation of state institutions.   

Addressing a forum in Koforidua as part of a series of regional campaign for Multi-Party Governance and Constitutional Reforms, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance said, the 1992 Constitution has served the country for a long time but is faced with some challenges.

He said there is the need for the proposed constitutional amendment to be used to resolve some of the problems to help strengthened the constitution.

Dr Akwetey said the CFI is proposing   direct election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief Executives and the introduction of proportional representation system at the District Assembly level for minority and marginalised groups.

He called for the strengthening of national institutions and making them more professional, impartial and protected from party control.

He explained that, if such proposals are adopted into the constitutional amendment, it would dismantle the monopoly of Executive power, end the extreme exclusion of political parties that formally participate in local elections and help solve the winner takes all syndromes and promote inclusive governance and development.

Dr Akwetey said the proposal would also promote interparty collaboration and political governance, development of the country and would mitigate extreme partisanship and promote communal and national cohesion.

Mr Emmanuel Bombande, Executive Director for West Africa Network for Peace Building, proposed the merging of presidential, parliamentary and district assembly elections and the holding of these elections within a defined campaign period.

He also called for the period for holding of all internal party elections, review and alignment of existing political party laws.

Mr Bombande explained that, such amendment could help resolve the issue of overload of elections during the four- year period after national elections, leaving little space and time for thinking through and solve development challenges of the country.

He proposed that , the constitution amendment should make it mandatory for all political parties to develop and publish their manifestos within specific timeframes and supported for the parties to translate their manifestos into a four year medium term policy programs as basis for campaigning for elections.



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