An associate professor at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo, is making a strong case for Ghana’s 26-year-old constitution to be changed on the basis that the current one has outlived its usefulness.
He contents the 1992 constitution is fraught with “imponderable challenges” and provisions that undermine constitutionalism and at the same time impedes the growth of the country’s democratization process.
According to Prof. Gyampo, the constitution was drafted not to fully guide democratic governance, but to “pamper and protect a particular regime that no longer exists.
“It was never crafted to promote democratic governance and rule of law,” Prof. Gyampo who is the Director of Centre for European Studies said, and argued that the constitution was never drafted to serve as a countervailing document but to “consolidate the powers” of the John Rawlings regime.
The constitution, he said, has conferred on the Executive arm of government, great powers and weakened the other arms that should serve as a check.
In his view, the 1992 constitution has placed the legislature, judiciary, security agencies, local governance and all other avenues of checks and balances “under the direct or surreptitious control of the Executive”.
He said: “It was, in my view, designed to consolidate the powers of the regime that supervised its preparation. Check it carefully and see. Every provision contains a loophole that confers advantage to the Executive and weakens effective countervailing checks on the executive”.
The consequent of the situation, he averred, has led to the country’s underdevelopment, indicating institutions no longer work.
Though he said the regime that supervised the preparation of the constitution is no more, “selfish leaders are still enjoying the power drunk advantages” of the constitution which was reviewed in 2010 by a presidential commission of inquiry.
Recommendations of the Commission contained in a draft bill, has since been hanging as some critics have challenged the processes used by the Commission to effect some changes of the 1992 constitution.
For Prof. Gyampo, the constitution as it is, does not require review but a total scrap.
“To my mind, we do not even need a reviewed constitution. We need a new constitution that reflects, not the whimsical dictates of political elites, but our collective ethos as a people, drawing on best practices across the globe,” he contended.