The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Senyo Hosi has urged for immediate constitutional amendments.
Mr. Hosi, who delivered the keynote presentation at a public lecture on the theme “Avoiding the Constitution’s Impending Death,” said that the Constitution, in its current form, encourages corruption.
“It goes without saying that our constitution has produced a President who, for lack of a better term, can be described as a ‘democratic dictator.'” While the framers of the constitution may have thought this structure was vital for a seamless transition from military control to democracy, it has now become the cornerstone of our troubles. This arrangement has resulted in a winner-take-all system, ensuring an adversarial democracy (a never-ending NDC vs. NPP fight) rather than a democratic consensus.”
“It has enabled the government to use the state’s powers in an unjust manner against any foe it names.” The truth of Lord Acton’s ideas comes into play when so much authority is concentrated in one branch of government: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts, utterly.” As a result, political extremism and social corruption have supplanted meritocracy and institutional development.”
“Distinguished visitors, the truth must be told: corruption is the money of our democracy.” Don’t be fooled: corruption has no place in this constitution. It’s what keeps our democracy’s cogs turning.”
“It’s no surprise that the perception of corruption has risen from 33 in 1998 to 43 in 2020. According to the most recent Afrobarometer study, 53% of the population believes that corruption has increased in the previous year. To make matters worse, more than 80% of respondents believe that all three branches of government are corrupt in some way. This is risky, especially when the judiciary is viewed as corrupt as well,” he noted.
He suggested a new type of democracy, one that is consensual rather than confrontational.
“A democracy in which the loser takes some and the winner takes all; a democracy in which politics is a call and a moment of service rather than a career of total economic dependence; a democracy in which the strengthening of our institutions and the inclusiveness of our people and professionals are reflected; a democracy in which being out of government has no bearing on your economic sustainability.” Ladies and gentlemen, we must exercise a democracy that encourages meritocracy in this country.”
He stated that the country will require three large interventions “to avert the prospect of our constitution dying.”
“These recommendations aren’t meant to be sacred; they’re meant to spark discussion and debate about how to build the democracy we need.”
The three suggestions are as follows:
A. Immediate constitutional revision to reflect the type of democracy that we require.
He advocated a constitutional reform he dubbed the “7D reform” – some of which are covered in various forms in the 2011 Constitutional Review Commission report.
Strengthen the separation of powers between the three branches of the government.
Depoliticize our democratic institutions and governance.
Our security services should be depoliticized.
Depoliticize our systems of accountability.
All state entities, including SOEs, regulatory organizations, and agencies, should be depoliticized.
Our Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies should all be democratically elected.
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B. Create and manage a national economic growth agenda that is bipartisan and owned by all stakeholders.
C. Re-education of Ghanaians in the values required for our country’s social and economic transformation.
Meanwhile, four political parties have stated that the 1992 Constitution must be modified in order to strengthen the country’s governing structure.
After 30 years since the 1992 Constitution was enacted, the parties believe that a review of the Constitution is long overdue to improve the country’s democratic process.