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19.03.2007 General News

Prime Minister for Ghana? Clend Sowu objects

By myjoyonline

A former member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution, Squadron Leader (Rt) Clend Sowu says there is no need for the country to amend the Constitution to create the position of a Prime Minister.

According to the Statesman newspaper of Monday, President Kufuor will propose the abolition of the present office of a Vice President for a Prime Minister to make the appointee more effective.

But according to Squadron Leader Sowu, the action would mean holding a referendum to amend the whole of the entrenched Chapter 8 of the 1992 Constitution.

Clend Sowu explained that a Prime Minister is usually in charge of government and according to Article 58, Clause 3 of the Constitution, the President who is Head of State and Government can appoint any of his ministers to exercise any duties as Head of Government if he so wishes though the individual may not be referred to as Prime Minister.

Clend Sowu told Joy News reporter Dzifa Bampoh that the suggestion coming from the President, though not new, is a non-starter.

He said the problems facing Ghana now have nothing to do with changing the designations of office holders, and argued that in any case, the Chief of Staff, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani is the defacto Prime Minster performing the functions of Head of Government.

He maintained that Ghana has experimented with and evolved from a variety of governance systems before arriving at the current hybrid system.

“We've had Executive President up through to one party state where the President was everything else. It brought problems, coup d'etats, and we changed. We had the '69 one that had the two, we had the Executive President being the Head of State then we had the Prime Minister being the Head of Government. Then we came to 1992 and we decided that we will have the hybrid and in the 1992 we said the Head of State and Head of Government.”

Squadron Leader Clend Sowu said Ghana does not need to go through the expensive exercise of a referendum on the proposal to amend the Constitution.