IDEC calls for devolution of executive power

Professor Kwame A. Ninsin, Scholar-in-Residence, Institute for Democratic Governance has propose the devolution of executive power to elected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to address the problem of monarchical executive.

“This will create alternative centres of power that are independent of the President as well as give additional political space for others to contest for executive power, howbeit at the district level,” he said.

The Professor made the proposal at a public conversation on the ‘Role of Constitutional Reforms in Consolidating Peace, Stability and National Cohesion’ in Accra.

The programme was organized by IDEG and Gyandoh Asmah and Co.

Prof Ninson said appropriate electoral reforms should re-engineer political party culture away from the pursuit of power for private ends to power for public purposes to enable the nation develop and pursue a roadmap for prosperity.

“Any electoral reform should institute corresponding frameworks for political party regulation and appropriate capacity building for policy engagement,” He added.

He said a constitution is a national document and should reflect the core values and aspirations of the people, which may be elicited through their direct participation in the process or indirectly through their representatives.

Prof Ninsin stressed that it is important for the citizens of the nation to own the amendment process through the decisions of their representatives assembled as Parliament.

“The parliamentary process provides an opportunity for various currents of opinion and interest to be synthesized into a consensual document, hence, Parliament should own the process from the beginning to the final act of amendment, so that the essential compromises and consensus could be built”.

He said the 1992 Constitution was influenced by a history of political instability, creeping politicization of ethnicity, human rights abuses and deepening development crisis.

The Professor explained that the purpose of the various provisions of the 1992 Constitution was to respond to these multiple crises – that is, preserve the nation and the rights of its citizens; create a centrepiece around which the nation’s energies could be mobilized for a just and equitable development.

He noted that among the many creations that would shoulder the burden of rebuilding the nation are the executive and the electoral system which were designed to enable the nation to periodically celebrate its unity and strength as well as build consensus and chart a common path into a future of progress and prosperity for all.

He said since the 1996 elections when the multi-party system came into its own, the political urge to capture the monarchical executive has grown exponentially with each round of elections and fuelled electoral politics to absurd limits.

He said the 2008 and 2012 elections electoral contest had become adversarial and bloody with the leading political parties determined to inflict severe political damage on their opponent, better described as political enemy.

Prof Ninsin emphasized that elections continue to leave footprints of widening ethnic and regional divisions, bitter political rivalry, unnecessary suspicion and a disposition among the political class to fight till victory is theirs.

He said the practice of politicalizing the institutions of state devalues the existing culture of efficiency, effectiveness and impartiality which has been the hallmark of public institutions over years. GNA

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