The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA), has said that the Council of State’s mandate must be reviewed to make its decisions more binding on the President.
Some civil society groups have questioned the relevance of the Council over its apparent insignificant role in the country’s governance structure, following recent developments, and have thus called for it to be scrapped.
But the centre believes the council is still relevant and their functions must be strengthened by Parliament to influence the President on key national decisions.
Regional representatives for the Council of State were elected on Thursday [17th February, 2017], but some persons have questioned their relevance especially after allegations of vote buying during the election.
The Deputy Executive Director of the Center, Gladys Gillan Tetteh in an interview with Citi News, also called for an expansion of the Electoral College as a way to prevent vote-buying.
“We all know currently what is happening with respect to the council of state. It lacks credibility because a lot of Ghanaians believe that it does not influence the central government in its operations. People think that they have outlived their usefulness but we have a different opinion. They are still relevant. We only need to come up with certain laws to ensure that their operations are relevant to the current state. Parliament can come up with laws to allow them to have more powers in terms of their decision being binding on the president.”
She added that, the current law allows the President to ignore the advice of the Council at his will, and that was not beneficial to Ghanaians.
“I also believe that we need to expand the electoral college to allow all assembly members to vote. Currently, there is this impression that people are paying money for people to vote for them. For us, this is not good enough so we expand the electoral college, and the vote buying issues will be addressed.”
‘Council of State useless’
Meanwhile, the President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has described as needless the role of the Council of State in the country.
Speaking on Citi FM‘s news analysis program, The Big Issue, he said, “I don't subscribe to a council of state, I think it is needless,”.
He said although he does not seek to bastardize institutions set up by the constitution, several precedents had shown that the Council of State is usually sidelined by presidents during decision-making time.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana