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16.01.2008 Social News

RE: Francis PokuThe President`s Prerogatives

By Accra Mail
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President J.A. Kufuor in what many people have described as a surprise and uncharacteristic move sacked his National Security Minister last weekend.

The effects are still reverberating. Mr. Francis Poku, the Minister, has himself refrained from making any public pronouncements and so what the general public is feeding on is mere speculation, hearsay and some tit bits of truth and half truths.

Whatever happened between the President and his National Security Minister leading to the showdown (that we are sure of) which ended in the Minister's departure is now history. Many comments will be spewed for a while; what we must all guard against is undermining democracy. We must all recognise that the president under the constitution has certain prerogatives which include hiring and firing of state officials. Depending on his judgement (which you may agree or disagree with), he is within his constitutional powers to relieve any person he has appointed of his duties.

The timing and manner may be disagreeable, but that does not make it illegal or unconstitutional.

Let us therefore in expressing our indignation or approval of the president's action in this matter recognise that democracy must prevail in the end. After all, in just about a year's time, the president himself and all his appointees, from ministers, to district/metropolitan chief executives, to boards, to ambassadors and others would be leaving office when he comes to the end of his two terms.

That is the nature of constitutional rule and that's what we must protect and defend. Period!

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