‘Appointments into constitutional bodies should be bi-partisan’

A Development Economist, Dr Samuel Ankrah, has advocated appointments into constitutional bodies, including the Electoral Commission should be bi-partisan, as such appointments transcend political regimes.

He explained that the constitutional bodies transcended political regimes and it would be prudent to make appointments into them bi-partisan which should also weave well into the argument on appointment of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

“History has taught us, although such appointees have been largely independent in their deliberations, they are presumed to lean loyal to the political ideologies of the appointing president so, a committee made up of equal membership and equal authority, drawn from the two leading political parties in Parliament should be constituted to jointly nominate someone they are both comfortable with, to be appointed by the president,” Dr Ankrah pointed out.

According to him, same should be done for the appointment into the National Development Planning Commission, the Attorney-General ceded off the Ministry of Justice and the Inspector-General of Police, among others, to establish a stronger degree of political and public trust, confidence, assistance and support for decisions they take.

Reacting to the Majority Leader of Parliament’s opinion on the relevance of a vice president in the absence of the president, Dr Ankrah observed that in terms of function, the Majority Leader was right however, he opined that the Office of the Vice President must be maintained.

He intimated that in order to preserve the peace, unity, cohesion and political stability of the country, it was an investment worth sustaining because vice presidents may have floating role, but when their relevance comes into play, the impact was invaluable to consider smooth transfer of power to them in the unfortunate demise of sitting presidents.

Dr Ankrah indicated that besides guaranteed peace, unity, harmony and stability, socioeconomic benefits were significant and agreed with the call by the Majority Leader that the 1992 Constitution must place an upper ceiling on the number of Ministers of State required to run affairs of the country beyond the ministries, the same attention should be accorded some state agencies.

“We must consider merger of some state agencies, as there exist some wasteful duplication of roles, with their attendant burden on state’s resource but with current duplication of roles, institutions are sometimes either at a loss, or up in arms with each other, over which has greater mandate to implement defined roles and responsibilities. “When this counter-productive situation gets fixed, there will be more efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery and value for money for the taxpayer,” Dr Ankrah noted.

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