An Associate Professor at the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (AAMUSTED), Prof. Yarhands Dissou Arthur, has advocated a review of the 1992 Constitution to put an upper age limit on the qualification to vie for the country’s presidency.
Article 62 (b) of the 1992 constitution provides that “a person shall not be qualified for election as president of Ghana unless he/she has attained the age of forty years,” without an upper eligibility age limit.
According to the Associate Professor, there was the need for the nation to amend that provision to include an upper age limit of 65 years, as he argued that the country would do better “if the young and energetic with full appreciation of the changing dynamics of modern developments are at the helm of affairs”.
He wondered why the retiring age in the country has been pegged at 60 years, “but we find it acceptable for septuagenarians, octogenarians, nonagenarians, and even centenarians to occupy the presidency, the highest office in the land but deem those at 60 years as unfit for active public service.
Those beyond 65 years, he said, were likely not to function to expectation, and might be vulnerable to abuse by the unscrupulous young ones around them who would usually take advantage of their better understanding of the trends of the day to satisfy their parochial interests.
He said, eventually, the entire nation would suffer if such oldies were caught in such a mesh and under-perform, suggesting that those beyond 65 years should be allowed to play a role only as advisors.
The call comes few weeks after constitutional issues were raised at a public lecture by the Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
He commended the majority leader for the call for a review of some parts of the 1992 constitution “to make it relevant to our needs as a people”.
His view was that many provisions in the constitutions had outlived their usefulness and, therefore, required urgent amendment.
“Such amendments would require the genuine will of especially the government of the day to see it through to bring the nation to a progressive trajectory.
“Partisan interests and a desire to craft a constitution to favour only a few privileged ones should no longer take centre stage,” he said.
He hoped that citizens would intensify their advocacy for the government to initiate the constitutional review process to help the development of the country.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI