Dr Papa Kewsi Nduom, Presidential Candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in Election 2012, has blamed Ghana’s present socio-economic problems on the 1992 Constitution which confers too much powers on the President.
According to him, the 1992 Constitution legitimized an elected dictatorship and centralized the country’s system of governance in a way that has left the other arms of governance weak to act and too poor to serve as an effective source of checks and balances.
“The Executive power of the State of Ghana is conferred upon the President, the Head of the State. In the exercise of his functions, the President act in his own discretion and is not obliged to follow advice (tendered by any other person (Art.8)”.
“The effect of this provision is that the President is not bound by the advice of his Ministers, but, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, is master of his own decisions”, says Dr Nduom.
He therefore proposed an amendment of the provision in the Constitution as an effective solution to change this system of governance structure and empower the people to solve their problems where it really resides, especially at the local levels.
Dr Nduom was delivering the Party’s Second Anniversary lecture on the theme: “Solutions for Ghana: A Nation in Crisis”, in Accra.
He said as it is now, everything concerning decision making centres around one position, which is the President of the Republic, who performs all Ministerial and Ambassadorial and other appointments, including Chief Executive Officers and Board of Directors of all State Institutions, as well as District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives.
Dr Nduom said although government professes to practice the decentralization system, it has not worked well, as the allocation of financial resources is made by the central government, reducing the Assemblies to mere political agencies rather than tools for development.
He indicated these and many other decisions by the Executive have stifled development at the grassroots levels as the limited resources are often concentrated in either Accra or the bigger cities.
“Indeed, a check of well-performing towns and cities world-wide shows that where people elect or appoint their own mayors or administrators, they are rewarded with development,” he said.
He said “our local areas remain underdeveloped mainly because the leaders, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives are selected by one person based on political patronage.
Dr Nduom urged the President to choose a strong path to development by engaging in the crusade for local autonomy and allow local communities to elect or appoint their own Mayors and administrators for their own development.
He further recommended a step down of the work of the Constitutional Review Commission and the Constitutional Review Implementation Commission to bring Parliament to the forefront and allow the people’s will to prevail.
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