Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has re-echoed his call for a complete overhaul of the Fourth Republican Constitution which has been in use for the past two and a half decades.
According to him a complete overhaul of the 1992 Republican Constitution will deepen the root of the democratic governance the country is currently practicing.
Minister who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame Constituency in the Ashanti Region, as well as the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, believed Ghana having experimented with the 1992 Republican Constitution for the past two and a half decades, “there is a need for a holistic review and not just tinkering with the 1992 Constitution.”
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu re-echoed his call for a total overhaul of the Fourth Republican Constitution at a day’s working dialogue with some Religious Leaders and members of the National Media Commission (NMC) organized by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) towards the upcoming December 7 elections to engender, peaceful, transparent, free, fair and credible elections.
The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs disclosed that there was a groundswell of opinion for reforms on emerging matters in the country’s democratic governance that require national reflection, and a wholesale constitutional review.
“There is gradual groundswell of opinion for reforms in the internal organization of political parties. The issues are structural and call for amendments to the constitutions of various political parties. Also to be mentioned is electioneering campaign funding as well as many other thorny issues which require amendment to the Political Party Law.
“We may want to introspect on the upward ceiling of the number of Justices of the Supreme Court; the position of Regional Tribunals; the optimum number of seats in parliament; the choice of the Speaker of parliament, whether or not he must be a sitting member of parliament; the composition of the Executive, whether we should continue to have the hybrid system; whether presidents have to submit names nominated for vetting in all cases, including, in particular, when ministers /deputy ministers are to be reshuffled; the optimum number of ministries to create; the optimum numbers of ministers to have; the appointment of the commissioners of the Electoral Commission;
“whether or not MPs can serve on Boards of public corporations and state enterprises; the ability of parliament to initiate and pass bills; the composition of the Council of State; the role of the Council of State in our governance architecture; the role of the Attorney General; the composition and role of the National Development Planning Commission; the composition of the National Security Council; the role of the constitutional creatures such as NCCE,CHRAJ, Media Commission; the declaration of assets; the role of the Auditor –General and last but not least the Transitional Provisions,” the Parliamentary Affairs minister opined.
The day’s working dialogue which was first of its kind for Religious Bodies and the National Media Commission under one roof which was on the theme: “Towards Democratic Elections in December 2020: The Perspective of the National Media Commission and Religious Leaders” was held at the plush Alisa Hotel in Accra.
The Minister urged the religious leaders to use their pulpit to preach and teach their followers on the tenets of their faith and morality, including praying to God for direction in the choice of God-fearing and morally upright leaders.
He also charged the Media to put out facts and figures but not political propaganda to inform and educate the citizenry, in order to make informed decisions and choices about leadership that will add value to the national development agenda.
The chairman of the Christian Council and some members who were present at the programme announced that they were organizing prayer and fasting period to seek the face of God for peace before, during and after the presidential and parliamentary elections.
The National Media Commission also used the opportunity to explain to participants its new mobile digital software which would be deploying to monitor the 2020 elections.
The new mobile software dubbed “Election Watch” has inbuilt features to authenticate videos, photos and other events about the elections.
Per the explanation given by the Executive Secretary of NMC, once a random check is made on an uploaded videos or photos on the platform, it would reveal real time information of the video, or photos i.e.; the exact time and the location where the video or photo was taken for quick authentication.
The platform is currently being introduced to stakeholder institutions in the elections after which it would be made available to the rest of the public. The Executive Secretary of NMC announced.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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