Let’s make 1992 Constitution “people and development oriented” – PPP

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Constitution

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has proposed wide-ranging changes to the 1992 Constitution to make it “people and development oriented”.

A statement issued by the Party’s 1st Vice Chairman, Mr Felix William Ograh, and shared with the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday, said the current Constitution was “dictatorial” and allowed for “create, loot and share” by successive governments.

It proposed among others, the election of Municipal, Metropolitan, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) by the people without any interference from the President.

It also proposed a cancellation of government appointees being enrolled into the District Assemblies as well as prohibiting Members of Parliament from being appointed as Ministers of State, adding that MPs must resign from Parliament after their ministerial appointment.

“We should also strengthen the Office of the Attorney-General by separating it from the Ministry of Justice; introduce a Public Declaration of Assets Regime; and clarify the eligibility of Ghanaians in the Diaspora to hold Public Office,” the Party said.

The PPP, in September 2021, declared 7th December as the “Fix the Constitution Day” to campaign and make a case for amendments to the 1992 Constitution.

The Party further proposed that the concept of government appointees should be completely abolished and called for the empowerment of the districts to elect their own Chief Executive Officers “who are the true agents of development.”

In 2019, the Government aborted a planned referendum meant to amend Article 243(1) and Article 55(3) of the Constitution to allow for the election of MMDCEs on partisan lines.

The Government took the decision following disagreement over whether political parties should be allowed to participate in such elections.

The PPP, however, said MMDCEs could be elected without going for a referendum.

“All that we need to do now is for Parliament to amend articles 242(d) which deals with the appointment of the one-third of Assembly Members and Articles 243(1) and 243(3) which deals with the appointment (and disappointment) of the Chief Executive,” it said.

The Constitution Review Commission (CRC), a Presidential Commission of Inquiry, was set up in January 2010 to consult the people on the operation of the 1992 Constitution and on changes where necessary.

The Commission was also tasked to present a draft bill for the amendment of the Constitution.

The PPP expressed disappointment that successive governments had failed to implement the recommendations contained in the CRC’s report.

“The massive amount of money invested in the Constitutional Review exercise must not be allowed to go waste.

“It shall remain a scar on the conscience of right-thinking Ghanaians if these fundamental changes and many other brilliant recommendations contained in the CRC’s report continue to gather dust,” the Party said.

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