Reconstitute Of The Council Of State -Former President John Agyekum Kufuor

KUFUORFormer President John Agyekum Kufuor has advocated the reconstituting of the Council of State into an Upper House of Parliament to serve as an effective check on both the Executive and Lower House.

As at now, the Council of State has been an advisory body to the Executive.

He said Council of State has proven to be ineffective; therefore the nation need a non-partisan descending body to save as a check in decision making.

According to him, this would ensure that bill formulated by the Executive were subjected to scrutiny by the Upper House before being pass into law.

Former President Kufuor made the suggestion during a consultative meeting with the Advisory Committee on the constitution review process on the Winner-Takes-All (WTO) of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) at his residence in Accra, yesterday

The meeting was part of a series of nationwide consultation for input into the constitutional amendment process, which aimed at addressing the challenges of the WTA political system in the country.

The former President was of the view that the reconstituting of the Council of State into an Upper Houuse , with regional and institutional representations, would ensure that the Executive and Majority in Parliament “do not have their way.”

Speaking on other way to enhance good governance, the former President called for the abolition of the Office of the Vice President, and replace it with Office of Prime Minister who would actively represent the executive in Parliament.

He stated that adopting the Westminster system would be more beneficial to the country than the present system where the Office of Vice President is almost redundant because of the active participation of the President in governance.

He opposed the concept of power sharing among parties, saying that does not work well, especially when the President and Vice President or Prime Minister and Ministers belong to different political ideologies.

Former President Kufuor said “governance is not a booty,”adding“ if governance was a booty then the winner should take all.

“But if it is about serving the people, and making the citizenry the repository of national sovereignty, then governance must be a shared responsibility,” he said.

Former President Kufuor cautioned against rushing constitutional amendment process through Parliament and a referendum.

Instead, he advised that Ghanaians should be made to own the process and understand the intended changes.

“Definitely we have to review the constitution, but we must be extremely careful in ensuring that we understand the philosophy of the constitution, so that the amendments we seek today does not bring more problems in the future,” he said.

Justice Francis Emile Short, former Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, who led the WTA Advisory Committee to the meeting, said the winner-takes-all system has been identified as the cause of political polarisation in Ghana.

 

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