Get involved in local government systems …Sam Okudzeto urges political parties

A member of the Coun­cil of State, Mr Samuel Okudzeto, has stressed the need for political parties to get involved in the local govern­ment system when considering the amendment of the 1992 Consti­tution.

Getting political parties involved in the local government system, according to him, would help serve as a check on the behaviour of District Chief Executives (DCEs) in the administration of districts or localities.

Mr Okudzeto made the state­ment in his presentation at a seminar organised by the Professor Mike Ocquaye Centre for Consti­tutional Studies at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra on Tuesday.

The seminar which was on theme “Amending the 1992 Con­stitution, views and reflections” was attended by members of the executive, legislative and judicial arm of government, civil soci­ety groups, political parties, the Electoral Commission and other relevant stakeholders.

It was chaired by the former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Ocquaye.

“In most developed countries where democracy flourishes, polit­ical parties are directly involved in putting forth candidates to stand for elections in the local govern­ment system to enable the MMD­CEs function effectively.

“As a party itself, it will influence the direction into which this ma­jority in the DCEs should conduct or operate in the administration of their districts or localities,” Mr Okudzeto added.

The Member of the Council of State further underscored the importance of the selection and election of the members of the district assembly as well as DCEs which would make them account­able to the electorates.

According to him, Article 243 of the 1992 Constitution which gave the President the power to appoint DCEs with the prior approval of not less than 2/3 majority of mem­bers of the assembly present when voting at a meeting made them not accountable to the people, hence, must be amended.

Another aspect of the Constitu­tion which needed to be amended according to Mr Okudzeto was Article 127, which talked about the independence of the judiciary.

He noted that the discretionary power given to the President by the 1992 Constitution in the appoint­ment of judges raised the question of whether the President was bound by the nomination of judi­cial officers by the judicial council.

For instance, Mr Okudzeto noted that the Supreme Court interpretation of the phrase ‘acting on the advice’ as indicated in the 1992 Constitution during a case in­volving the Ghana Bar Association v the Attorney-General in 2015 reversed the reason the Constitu­tion made the Judicial Council an independent appointing body.


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