The misconception facing Ghana in terms of comprehension of “political legitimacy” and “political authority” is in abyss, very worrying and confusing and that the nation Ghana ought to face reality by having to accept the fact that we are in for democracy and democratic principles against all other odds so we must sit-up.
The framers our constitution in their quest to secure for us political stability as a result of our past records, intentionally or inadvertently adopted several constitutional systems and fusing of powers into shaping our political kismet.
We the people of Ghana also embraced the offers of the framers because we are tired of masochism and military showmanship in an area where inclusiveness of most of the people is required to move the nation forward.
Little did we know that, democratic principles eschewed in the designed 1992 Constitution is only peculiar to Ghana and its traces cannot be found or linked up to the democratic principles that blossomed the western world and made democracy a glamorizing culture which we decided to emulate.
Surprisingly political actors in Ghana of both the two most popular parties seemed to have difficulties understanding the working of the system and therefore end up throwing more bedlam to the comprehension of most of us who find it difficult to read and analyze or some of us who do not know anything about any other law but our traditional monarchical constitution which we have practiced for more than four centuries.
We cannot and would not put blame on the political actors. We shall blame the framers of the constitution who must have known that, constitution better works if all and sundry for whose sake the laws are made can apply it satisfactorily.
It therefore means that, our 1992 Constitution should have been consolidated with our local political methods for assimilation and comprehension of the intentions of all offices created to manage our social and economic lives.
Our observations of the constitution under which we live revealed copious democratic anomalies that requires re-engineering (amendments) to realign it to correspond to world accepted democratic footage and principles and then good democratic simulation reflect of our customs and tradition such that we the people would understand the roles of all state institutions including but not limited to offices of the district chief executive officers, the security agencies, law courts and the other departments of government.
When we wholly understand the role of each state institution we have accepted under our laws, we would understand the essence of democracy and reasons the world over are glamorizing it. At least mother Ghana is at the heart of we the people of Ghana and we desire peace and progress through diverse interaction for common goal.
The beginnings of our perplexities are amalgamation of the political powers of God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit conferred to a directly elected President of Ghana.
This is a criteria nowhere found in the developed democracies. That has been the beginning of our democratic fatalities leading us hard into making mother Ghana an autocratic state contrary to our natural democratic custom and traditions imbued in us and our desirous desire to practice democracy as the Western World does.
Our desire to practice democracy thrust us to accept without contemplating, open debate and crosschecking the weaknesses and ambiguities the experts draft may contained in the constitution whilst the consultative assembly held to the ideas and perspective of the then ruling military government into shaping the experts drafted constitution to suite them. Ironically we have only 43 percent adult suffrage Ghanaians who voted to approve the 1992 Constitution; an anomaly.
Institutions of State (Public Services Commissions) created to safeguard the sanctity of our democracy could not withstand their grounds and they allowed our Presidents and winners of general elections knowingly or erroneously abused the wisdom of the framers of the constitution in misapplying the established laws with very little challenge from these “would have been” very powerful institutions for mother Ghana.
In the appointment of the Inspector General of Police for instance, we had expected the Ghana Police Council to propose viable candidates to the Public Services Commission for vetting, examination and interrogation for competence and then present the candidates to the President before the President would consult with the Council of State to appoint the Inspector General of Police.
We are very unlucky in that, our Presidents appointed their Inspectors General of Police against the dictum of the framers of the Constitutions in Articles 195, 202.
“Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the power to appoint persons to hold or to act in an office in the public services shall vest in the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the governing council of the service concerned given in consultation with the Public Services Commission.” Article 195.1(1992).
“Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the power to appoint persons to hold or to act in an office in the Police Service shall vest in the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Police Council.” Article 202.3(1992).
Here we cannot blame the Politicians because most of the council’s representatives are appointed by the President on his own discretion.
Undoubtedly the framers of our constitution had sought to have imposed the duty of vetting of public office holders on the Public Services Commission much as the vetting committee of the Parliament of Ghana would do to minister who shall serve with the Executive President.
The actions of the Public Services Commissions provisioned by the framers of our constitutions in the real meaning and interpretations of their intentions are some of the Ceremonial Actions placed on our Presidents otherwise than by Executive Actions.
However because of ambitions and avarice, the love of money and the love of power, most of our officers placed on duty points to checkmate other officers of public places, have lowered the standard and rendered mother Ghana a nation in search of hope from other nations that safeguarded their standards.
Here again we cannot blame the Politicians because “political parties” are made corporate bodies to finance their own businesses and get endorsement from the people of Ghana to hold public office. It is very expensive to contest presidential election in 216 Districts made up of multi tribal settings to win an absolute majority. Why not allow the 1960 Kwame Nkrumah’s system where members of the National Assembly shall elect the President or go the British way or solely the American way with dual chamber parliament?
If Article 58.1 had been adhered to accordingly and the executive authority of Ghana vested in the President and exercised in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution without any twinkling, probably the intentions of the framers of the constitution would have been favorably achieved.
Those are some of the leanings and shortcomings of the interpretations of our laws because our Presidents relied solely on the term “in consultation with the Council of State” and refusing to recognize “in accordance with the advice of”.
Since the inception of the 1992 Constitution severally had the Auditor General’s Report exposed malfeasance of public funds by persons holding public offices which former President John Jerry Rawlings’s Armed Forces Revolutionary Council would have taken to firing squad’ yet people in his government, political party and the party in government today go scot-free because they were first investigated by commission and technically the law courts, acting on the laws of the land shall set them free.
Safe Democracy Ghana