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11.05.2006 General News

Former Second Deputy Speaker calls for a National debate on Presidential system of governance

By Kwaku Sakyi-Danso

A former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for South Tongu Hon. Ken Dzirasah in an interview with HiGhana News called for a National debate to adopt a Presidential system of governance.

This call comes in the wake of frequent absenteeism of most Ministers who are Members of Parliament on the floor of the House and the Legislature not being independent of the Executive arm of Government.

Hon Dzirasah was speaking on the topic “Building the image of the legislature as an independent institution the role of the Media” at a two days workshop organize by the Canadian Parliamentary Centre at Ho in the Volta Regional Capital for Members of the Parliamentary Press Corps.

Hon. Ken Dzirasah noted that as a Nation we have practiced three system of governance Executive, Presidential and the present Hybrid of the two but where Ministers a pointed from the Legislature it weakens the legislature. Hence the call a Presidential system where the President appoints his Ministers outside the Chamber so no Member of Parliament would be hanging on the corridors of Power trying to please the President to appoint him as a Minister. So that a Member of Parliament comes to the House with a clear mandate of performing a parliamentary duty of a four year term, that way there would be an in built resistance within him to avoid trying to soften the grounds for the Executive to pass any legislation through Parliament.

As to what can be done to bridge the gap between Members of Parliament and the Public the Member of Parliament for South Tongu, said with the various Military interruption of the legislature the culture of appreciating the work and usefulness of the legislature is not yet there. Therefore there is the need for a systematic education of the general public, to enable them appreciate the value of having an institution that would serve as a break on the excessiveness of the Executive.

Hon. Ken Dzirasah further pointed out that, with our current system of Hybrid of the Presidential and Executive system of governance both the Deputy Ministers and the Ministers who are Members of Parliament do not get effectively involve in the legislative work and this encourages absenteeism in the Chamber.

An sighted Nigeria as an example, where he himself witness a debate of the legislature made up of the Majority of the President’s Party but put the Legislature in check and call for the impeachment of the President.

And further added that, Ghana happens to be the only Country as far as he is aware that has adopted the Hybrid of the two system having a ridiculous situation where Cabinet Ministers take decisions in Cabinet and come to Parliament both at Committee level and the Plenary to defend such decision and vote for it obviously judges in their own course.

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