Ghanaians can still make inputs into constitutional review process
7/14/2012 11:37:40 PM -
Ghanaians still have windows of opportunity to influence the debate in the country's constitutional review process, says Prof. Albert Kodzo Fiadjoe, former Chair of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC).
He says none of the recommendations in the Commission's report was arrived at casually or without very deep thought, though he admits there could be dissenting views on its propositions.
'There are still constitutional avenues for Ghanaians to improve upon the recommendations of the Commission and the White Paper and tighten the screws', he observed.
Prof. Fiadjoe has identified four stages at which inputs can be made before the Constitution is ultimately amended. These include the drafting state at the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General's Department; the advisory stage by the Council of State; when the Amendment Bill(s) are presented to Parliament; and at the people's Referendum.
The former CRC Chair was addressing a forum in Kumasi aimed at facilitating effective communication of content of the CRC report and government's White Paper to Ghanaians.
Media personnel, traditional leaders and officials of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) drawn from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern regions are attending the two-day engagement.
According to Prof. Fiadjoe, the CRC's work had keen interest to move more power and resources from the centre to the units, to especially protect the vulnerable and marginalized in society.
He emphasized the need for Ghana to move from the politics of democracy to the economics of democracy 'so that Ghanaians may look at it as a source of renewed hope for the future'.
He therefore tasked the media to be at the 'frontline as soldiers' in information dissemination of recommendations in the CRC report and government White Paper.
Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Ebo Barton-Oduro, reiterated government's commitment to ensure people are informed on the CRC's work and other related law reform programmes.
The Constitution Review Commission was mandated in January 2010 to elicit the views of Ghanaians and undertake a consultative review of the 1992 Constitution.
In December 2011, the Commission's report was submitted to government and subsequently in June 2012, a Government White Paper accepted almost 90 percent of the CRC's recommendations.
Information Minister, Frederic Fritz Baffour said the government will soon announce a five-member implementation committee to facilitate the process of amending the 1992 Constitution.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana