Presidents since 1992 are very powerful
The current Republic started after the 1992 referendum
Ghana celebrates every January 7 as Constitution Day
According to the one-time Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle Constituency, Ghanaian presidents are too powerful per constitutional powers vested in them.
Ashietey, who also served in the cabinet of John Dramani Mahama, was speaking to Accra-based TV3 on the occasion of Ghana’s fifth Constitution Day celebration. Every January 7 is observed as such replacing the July 1 celebration of Republic Day since 1960 till 2018.
“We as a country chose the presidential modus for our country and some people chose the Westminster system for themselves. In the presidential system, the President is very powerful, very very powerful.”
He explained that with executive presidency, the president is elected on his own merit whereas under the Westminster system, “people will be elected at their party levels and then the one with the majority will have to choose the Prime Minister.
“I think that for me, the president is too powerful. Our president, I’m not talking about NPP, NDC, (but) I think we need to look at the powers of the President,” he submitted.
He further pointed out how Ghana’s Constitution requires the arms of government to check and balance each other but that the same Constitution says majority of Ministers be picked from Parliament.
Whiles asking who checks who in that situation, he added, “the strict separation of powers will be to the benefit of our country.”
There has been a ground swell of calls for a review of the 1992 Constitution. It has been resurrected on the Constitution Day as proponents and opponents share their perspectives on the way forward for the current republic.
For a proponent of the review and MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, there is the need to revisit a Constitutional Review Committee report that was put together under the John Evans Atta Mills era.
“It should be clear as crystal to all that it is time to return to the comprehensive constitutional review processes initiated in 2010 by Prof. John Evans Atta Mills (God bless his amazing soul).
“The justifiable agitations for a new Ghana Constitution and a new Leadership DNA shall continue to enjoy the unflinching support of many of us,” he said in a Facebook post published on January 7, which is observed as Ghana’s Constitution Day.