‘Give Council of State more powers’

Nii Darko

Nii Darko

A former Council of State member, Nii Amu Darko has supported calls for the council to be given more powers.

He noted that, the Council could do more than just advising the President on his policies, decisions and programmes.

The country’s constitution empowers the Council to advise the President in the discharge of his functions, but does not oblige the president to accept their advice.

Article 91 of the constitution states that “the Council of State shall consider and advise the President or any other authority in respect of any appointment which is required by this constitution or any other law to be made in accordance with the advice of, or in consultation with, the Council of State”.

The Council of State may also contribute to content of bills and programmes before Parliament and any state agency, the constitution in Article 91(3) has said.

Nii Darko sided with calls for the Council to be given more powers, saying, “I do agree that the Council of State should be given more powers but as to whether or not it will be given the power to become a second chamber, it is meant for the people of Ghana to decide.”

His call comes barely a day after former President Kufuor made a strong case for the institution of the Council of State.

The Council came under heavy criticisms when the emoluments of its members were increased in accordance with a review committee’s recommendations.

But speaking at a forum organised by the Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung Foundation in Accra, the former President argued that the wisdom of Council is indispensable, hence deserve to be treated with respect.

“Left to me, the Council of State should be turned into the second house,” the former President further suggested.

The Legal Committee of the current council is already in talks with Parliament to find a way to make the two bodies work together.

The Council of State in a bid to activate unexercised powers captured in the 1992 Constitution has already initiated talks with the leadership of Parliament in that regard.

President Akufo-Addo has said he has no reservations about calls by the Council for more powers.
He has however urged its members to exercise the powers in a “responsible manner”. –citifmonline.com

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