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Majority Leader calls for new constitutional order on Auditor-General

Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, has called for a new constitutional order where the Auditor-General will respect the fact that he is a tool for Parliament in the performance of Parliament’s oversight functions.

This, he said, was necessary to ensure that the Auditor-General would not unilaterally exact and prosecute surcharges and, even before submitting his reports to Parliament, find a way to leak the recommendations to the public.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu made these remarks at the launch of the 30th Anniversary Celebration of Ghana’s Parliamentary Democracy.

The event, on the theme “The Fourth Republic: The Journey Thus Far” was under the Chairmanship of the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin.

Among dignitaries that graced the occasion were Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Chief of Staff and two former Speakers: Mr Edward Korbly Doe Adjaho and Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also advocated a new constitutional order that would remodel the composition of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to purge it of the overly party-coloration and populate it with neutral citizens who would develop a real Long-Term National Development Plan around which parties would extract their manifestoes and therefore ensure that succeeding administrations continue the programs and projects started by their predecessors in order to prevent the wanton dissipation of the scanty resources of the country.

He said Ghana needed a new constitutional order where assets declared by public servants could be traced and tracked by the Auditor-General for purposes of tax compliance and not to encourage a system where public servants declared assets that they do not have but assets that they hope to have.

The Majority Leader said there was also the need for a new constitutional order that would better define the role of the Council of State; saying, “Should it be transformed into a second chamber, should the composition be more democratic?”

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu suggested a new constitutional order where the appointment of officers of the constitutional creatures, in particular, Electoral Commission, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the National Commission for Civic Education and the National Media Commission would be subjected to the prior approval of Parliament, using absolute, not simple majority.

“A new constitutional order where there will be no place for public tribunals. A new order where the qualification criteria to the apex court of the land would be enhanced and there will be a cap on the number of Justices for the Supreme Court,” he suggested.

He noted that Ghana needed a new constitutional order which would bring greater clarity on the emoluments of Article 71 office bearers and a new constitutional order to make the amendment process and procedures less cumbersome and less expensive.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu called for a new constitutional order that shall place national and human development at the centre of our sustainable development agenda.

Touching on the 30 years of Parliamentary Democracy in Ghana, the Majority Leader said, “the 4th Republic did not come to Ghanaians on a silver platter. Ghanaians of all shades and persuasions fought for it after several years of military rule.”

He explained that the governance of military regimes had not yielded much tangible development to the citizens in any part of the world.

He said in countries where military regimes had been lauded as liberators, redeemers, defenders, and that was whether they were provisional or transitional, the consequences of their misrule – violation of individual freedoms and abuse of human rights in totality, far outweighed their achievements.

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