The two major political parties and their leaders do not have an express willingness to review aspects of the Constitution of Ghana. The Constitution is crafted to favour the political elites at the time which dripped to the current ones. Consequently, any call to review it or discard aspects of it that are extraneous in helping to provide the appropriate policies and laws to guarantee the welfare of the people will be overlooked. If there is the desire to review the current Constitution, the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission should have been implemented.
The rapidity with which governments implement recommendations of salary and emoluments committees need to be applied in the approvals for a review of the Constitution and the demand for its amendment. The recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission and the persistent demand for a revision of the Constitution or its overthrow always go unnoticed because the political elites will fill exposed if new laws are promulgated.
Yet laws are not static: they are made to reflect the behavioural changes of the citizens and the goals of these people, in governance, for the attainment of positive welfares for them. The supreme law of the land is nearing three decades since it came into being. That is enough to change aspects of it to inspire a new thinking in development. Truly, aspects of the Constitution were applicable in the days the people of Ghana yearned for a new law to govern them, and have proven to be inappropriate to the masses in a modern era but in favour of a privileged few. If divine laws have changed overtime, there is no reason keeping dumb laws that distress the happiness and development of the people.
The processes to have the Constitution reviewed or changed have not been mentioned or identified by experts of the law and people with expertise in governance. This makes the persistent calls for a review of the Constitution imprecise. There must be plainly discussed approaches that must be initiated by the people to have aspects of the Constitution reviewed or the entire document jettisoned. It is not the political goal or will of the politician to change anything that gives it contented advantage.
Clearly, there are provisions and other acts that necessarily need amendment. The wish for a review of aspects of the Constitution expressed by some people is not to entertain the use of an easily manipulated document but to revise laws that do not afford us the opportunity to demand for the suitable provision of public services and the common good. The Constitution Review Commission outlined, in its report, a number of provisions that must be reviewed to reflect the demands and desires of the people in governance.
The foundation for the amendment of the Constitution of Ghana has been established in the report of the Constitution Review Commission. The institutions that need to trigger actions for the sole purpose of a review have demonstrated their weaknesses by ignoring the recommendations of the Commission. The public commentaries on the need to review the Constitution is a sign of timidity. Experts need to initiate processes that attract the attention and support of others to exert pressure on institutions and persons who will lead a fight for a review. The State must take keen interest in the implementation of the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission, some of which were the proposals of the masses. The snubbing of the will of the people is a recipe for mutinies.
Many Ghanaians participated in the consultative processes of the Constitution Review Commission. The Committee of Experts and those who voted to accept the 1992 constitution are not sophisticated in law than the people who submitted proposals for amendment of the current Constitution and those who led the Commission, that their work cannot be reviewed.
The historical evolution of the current Constitution makes it unfit for operating institutions in a modern era. It is therefore not surprising many experts are relentlessly calling for its review. It was written from a political point of view, ignoring the many procedures and approaches that lead to development.
From its text to the spirit of it, the supreme law could be a cause for the underdevelopment of the state as it does not engender the confidence needed in the people of Ghana to faithfully work for the attainment of the development goals of the State.
BY Emmanuel Kwabena Wucharey
Economics Tutor, Advocate and Religion Enthusiast.