WTA C’ttee Organises Forum On Constitution

Participants at a Western Regional forum on the constitutional review process yesterday agreed that the problem of the 1992 Constitution was of attitudinal than interpretational as has been perceived by some Ghanaians.

According to the participants, politicians sometimes interpret some provisions of the constitution to suit their political expediency, and the problem includes mistrust, exclusive governance, nepotism and political polarisation.

Some participants were of the view that although the constitution did not forbid any government from pursuing an all-inclusive governance, however, the selfish attitude of some Ghanaians have created the winner-takes-all political system, which has become the bane of Ghana’s politics.

The forum, was organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), aimed at helping the Institute’s Anti Winner-Takes-All (WTA) Advisory Committee to collate views for inputs into the constitutional amendment process.

As one of the series of nationwide consultations, the forum was attended by representatives of political parties, public institutions, civil society groups, traditional and religious leaders, security services, business groups and professional bodies.

Participants also noted that the constitution did not compel a new government to change the heads of public institutions, but the people’s attitude of selfishness, political vendetta and mistrust, has led to the practice becoming a convention.

“No matter how we amend the constitution, these problems would persist if we do not change our attitude,” said a participant, Joseph Kwame Armo, a Counsellor at the Upper Dixcove Traditional Council.

Other contributors believed that Ghana’s democracy has been abused to the extent that democracy has become a threat to the nation’s existence.

They therefore advocated fairness in governance and the interpretation and implementation of the constitution in a manner that would ensure all Ghanaians feel secure.

Participants also expressed worry over the dabbling of chiefs, religious leaders and professors, in partisan politics, describing the trend as a dangerous.

They further bemoaned the situation were politics, which should be a platform to serve, has rather become a lucrative business for some politicians.

Archbishop Palmer-Buckle, Chairman of the WTA Advisory Committee, called for consensus in addressing the problems generated by the Winner-Takes-All system which posed a threat to national cohesion and development.

He said Ghanaians need to collectively agree whether the situation was as a result of “the consitution, its intepretation or the attitude of the people.”    From Edmund Mingle,Takoradi

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