Ghana’s democracy modeled after military dictatorship – Nduom

Paa Kwesi NduomFormer Presidential Candidate, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, says the exemption of the President from paying taxes, coupled with the unbridled power of the President as guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution, smacks of military dictatorship.

Welcoming as a good move, the Constitution Review Implementation Committee’s (CRIC) recommendation that the President and other Article 71 Office holders pay taxes, Dr Nduom said in a statement that the CRIC Chairman’s submission of a draft bill for the amendment of entrenched provisions in the Constitution to that effect, amongst others, “gives me hope that we are about to arrive at a truly democratic and workable system of governance.”

According to him, “we currently have a system patterned after military dictatorship where power resides in only one person.”

“One item that excites me is that the draft bill contains a provision that will require that the President, the Vice-President and other Article 71 public office holders, including the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice, Justices of the Supreme Court, the Chairman and members of the Council of State, ministers of state, deputy ministers of state and Members of Parliament to pay tax to the state.”

He said the exemption of the President from paying taxes has “led to a ‘do as I say and not do as I do’ mentality in government.”

Dr Nduom argued that: “The current exemption from taxes tells Ghanaians that before the tax authorities some people are more equal or special than others so much so that they should not be taxed.”

“It reinforces the dependency syndrome in the higher ups of the public service,” adding that: “When our President in Ghana pays tax and does it on time as is done in countries such as the USA, then he/she can turn around with full moral authority and chase the rest of us to follow the good example.”

In the former Progressive Peoples’ Party’s Flagbearer’s view, “most people in this world are followers so having our Presidents not paying tax has not helped us to raise the revenue the state needs for development projects and to fund important Constitutional provisions such as free, compulsory, universal basic education (FCUBE).”

He has urged all Members of Parliament and the entire country to support the amendment.

Source: radioxyzonline

One comment

  1. MPs are representatives of the people. For MPs to be effective the chiefs, assembly men and opinion leaders in the constituencies must have regular dialogue with the MPs, demand answers to problems in the constituency and ask of the national budget and issues of national significance. The constituents must not forgive any MP who betrays them. There must be adequate media coverage of parliamentary activities and randomly how MPs are faring in their constituencies. If you know of any MP who has taken bribe report the MP to his constituents.

    After winning an election a newly elected Parliamentarian must leave his constituency and come to Accra the National capital to represent his constituency while at the same time providing feedback to his constituents. In order to represent his or her constituency effectively a parliamentarian should be able to communicate in the language he or she feels most comfortable in. Many parliamentarians come from constituencies where English is not the first language. A parliamentarian may be educated, understand English and belong to one profession or another but would prefer to communicate in the language of his or her constituency.

    Parliament must therefore provide interpreters for all the major language blocks. Parliament must also provide earphones so that if one MP is speaking in a different language the other MPs can all understand. Language must not be a barrier to effective repesentation.

    Parliament must also provide a readily available renovated residence to a newly elected parliamentarian. Accommodation in Accra is expensive and not every newly elected parliamentarian will have the money to rent a home in the national capital. Each MP must be given an office, a bodyguard and a secretary.

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