2020 flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Brigitte Dzogbenuku has claimed that the 1992 constitution was written to protect the late former President Jerry John Rawlings.
She noted that the framers of the constitution failed to appreciate the general needs of Ghanaians because of the fear at that, and succumbed to the whims and caprices of the then leader (Late President Rawlings) who had metamorphosed from a military ruler to a civilian ruler.
She further claimed that because of the fear of the opposition at that time, the then-late Ghanaian leader wanted the constitution to give him full protection so that even if he was out of power, he would not be touched by his successor.
“The 1992 constitution indeed was written in fear, and it was meant to protect the late President Rawlings”, the PPP stalwart said.
That, Ms. Dzogbenuku said, was the reason the country was facing numerous socio-economic challenges.
She attributed much of the problems to the excessive powers given to the presidents by the constitution.
The PPP’s 2020 presidential candidate made these observations on Amansan Television’s (ATV) political programme, ‘Kanawu’ at the weekend while commenting on the ongoing social media campaign dubbed, #FixTheCountry.
She indicated that, since the formation of her party, it had been calling for certain portions of the 1992 constitution to be amended.
According to her, some of the problems mentioned by the campaigners of the #FixTheCountry would not have come, if the constitution had been amended as proposed by the PPP.
For instance, she said, a review of the constitution would help prevent the president from selecting at least 50 percent of his ministers from among the Members of Parliament (MPs) to cushion the legislature against the executive influence.
Ms. Dzogbenuku also proposed an amendment of Article 88 of the constitution which makes the Attorney-General(AG) also the Minister of Justice , stressing that the current arrangement “makes it difficult to deal with political corruption cases”.
These, she said, were among the reasons Ghana’s developmental agenda was not seeing any progress.
Commenting on the issue, former UN Advisor on Good Governance, Professor Baffour-Agyeman Dua who was also on the show, blamed the framers of the constitution for not considering the country’s traditional system of governance when drafting it.
He was not happy that every developmental project either at the district or regional level must be approved by the president when in his view, a regional minister or a District Chief Executive (DCE) could do it.
Prof. Agyeman-Dua pointed out that, successive governments had failed to do something about the constitution because they found it comfortable working with it whenever they were in power.
A lawyer and women’s rights advocate, Marian Darlington who was also on the program revealed that the amendment of the constitution was ongoing.
However, she said, Ghanaians ought to change their attitudes if they wanted to see development.
“ …yes it is important we amend the constitution but it is also equally important we work on our attitudes as a people other than that even we change the whole constitution we’ll still have these problems”, she said.
Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI