Mr Senyo K. Hosi, an Economic Policy Analyst, has recommended amendments to Ghana’s 1992 Constitution to deepen democracy.
He made the recommendations in a presentation at the Constitutional Day Public Lecture organised by the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Law School on the topic “Avoiding the Impending Death of the 1992 Constitution.”
Mr Hosi recommended the deepening of the separation of powers of the three arms of government, and the depoliticisation of governance and democratic institutions and security services.
He also called for the depoliticisation of accountability institutions, all state agencies, including State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), regulatory bodies and agencies, democratisation of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), and the public funding of political parties.
“First, we need to ensure true separation of the Legislature and the Executive. We must enforce full separation of powers and expunge any requirement or option for the executive to appoint any member of the legislature as a minister or member of a board of the enterprises and agencies of the State,” he stated.
“The legislature cannot be a player and referee at the same time.”
He advocated for a consensual democracy and the establishment and management of a bipartisan national economic development agenda, owned by all stakeholders.
Mr Hosi also recommended re-conscientisation of the Ghanaian with the values needed for social and economic transformation.
He said to entrench the independence of the Judiciary from the Executive, the authority to appoint members of the Judiciary from the lower courts to the appeals court must be made the exclusive preserve of the Judicial Council, which should be required to adopt an open and public evaluation process.
Mr Hosi said nominations to the supreme court, and for the Chief Justice should equally emanate from the Judicial Council but be subjected to the approval of two-thirds of the members of Parliament.
“I believe this will… make both majority and minority co-own confidence in the Judiciary,” he said.
“It will also disincentivise potential political activism from the bench, a situation that erodes confidence in the Judiciary and the very core of our values, freedom, and justice.”
Mr Hosi also recommended that the Judicial Council be reconstituted to, in addition to the President’s and institutional nominees, include nominees from the opposition.
He said independent institutions must, however, dominate the Council and must not be subject to the direct or indirect influence of the Executive.
He noted that the appointment of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission had in recent times been fraught with so much mistrust and political polarisation and must be addressed.
“The poor consultative process in the appointment of Charlotte Osei, the infamous manoeuvring to oust her and the equally non-consensual process in appointing Jean Mensah do not augur well for our democratic stability,” he said.
“I shudder to think of what the NDC (National Democratic Congress) will do should they assume office with a Jean Mensah in office. This tells us the system is sick- it is not working for ‘We The People’.”
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader in Parliament, called for the strengthening of Parliament to enable it to deliver on its constitutional mandate.
Professor Ernest Kofi Abotsi, Dean, UPSA Law School, said the 1992 Constitution would in April this year, be 30 years after its adoption; stating that 30 years in the life of the Constitution was enough for Ghanaians to say they were grown.