‘What we have is an Executocracy not a democracy’ – Sam Jonah calls for review of 1992 constitution
A statesman, Sir Sam Jonah, has reiterated the need for a review of the 1992 Constitution to completely make changes to powers granted the Executive arm of government.
The Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) noted that the Constitution in its current state has “created a monstrous Executive which looms large over the other arms of the governance structure.”
Delivering a speech virtually to members of the Rotary Club in Ghana and abroad on April 21, the Leadership Consultant said it is unfortunate that “for 28 years, we have failed to make any meaningful changes to strengthen our democracy.”
“Actually, what we have is an “Executocracy”, not a democracy. The President is supposed to appoint the majority of his Ministers from Parliament. By definition, that makes Parliament a rubber stamp, because no MP in the ruling party will be able to stand up and demand accountability from the Executive – they are all scrambling for positions,” he emphasised.
The speech by the Chancellor of UCC touched on every aspect of the country, including corruption, governance, the economy and the role of the media and academia in shaping the future.
Sir Jonah also highlighted how the current constitutional irregularities have affected the Judiciary.
“The Judiciary is no different. The President has a determining role in the appointment of all the judges of the Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice. This festers the perception that the situation compromises the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.
“Indeed, a large section of the citizenry believe that the judiciary is not impartial with 85 per cent of Ghanaians in a recent Afrobarometer survey perceiving the judiciary as corrupt and ineffective,” he said.
He noted that the Legislative arm of government is also facing the same fate with corruption among sitting Members of Parliament.
“Few years ago, a prominent MP said publicly that parliamentarians take bribes to pass bills that favour their sponsors.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, if a fish comes out from water to tell us that the crocodile has one eye, who are we to doubt it? Incidentally, the said MP, Mr. Alban Bagbin is now the Speaker of Parliament,” he said.
The former President of AngloGold Ashanti is therefore proposing a change in the Constitution to correct these imbalances.
“To have a meaningful democracy, we cannot continue on the path of a tripod with one leg stronger than the other two combined. We must commit to review the experiment with the aim of strengthening accountability and ensuring that democracy delivers real development to the people, “he said.
He explained that until this is done, the country’s democracy is meaningless.
“To achieve this, the Constitution must change,” he stressed.
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