Accra, Sept 3, GNA - The Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) and National Constitutional Reform Coalition (NCRC), on Monday called on government to make the recommendations of the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) accessible to the public to enhance understanding of the rationale behind the report.
“So far both the CRC Report and the government white paper have been published largely on websites which are inaccessible to the majority of the people.
“Neither have simplified versions of the recommendations nor translations in local languages been made available to the wider public,” the CFI and the NCRC stated in joint stamen copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
According to the statement, there was the need for simplified user friendly versions of the recommendations to be made available to the public as well as the translation of the report into local languages for public understanding on the implications of the report on governance of the country.
The two organisations also called on government to review its stance on decentralization and local government in the White Paper.
The statement noted: “A thorough reform of the existing local government and decentralization system would help transform the winner-takes-all politics into a shared power system, this would straighten participation, representation and accountability at all levels of governance”.
It indicated that issues such as gender equality and women's rights, capping the total number of parliamentary seats, mechanisms for funding independent constitutional bodies and limiting the powers of the Executive had not been thoroughly examined.
The two groups explained that issues pertaining to the election of District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives and their accountability had not been addressed satisfactorily and could potentially undermine governance in the country”.
The CFI and NCRC therefore proposed Parliament should have the opportunity to debate the report and the White Paper before implementation.
The statement also urged political parties to engage the CRC report and the Government White Paper as part of the issue based campaigns to build a consensus on the measures needed to make the constitution better.
Government published a White Paper on the CRC report in June 2012.