Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ghana: 'Place moratorium on politicking after elections'

The acting General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Mawunyo Veni Vienyo Kwaku Dumanya, has called for a moratorium on politicking after elections to ease tension in the country. Mr Dumanya made the suggestion in Accra last Monday at a meeting between the national executives of GNAT and members of the Institute of Economic Affairs/Winner­Takes-All (IEA/WTA) Advisory Committee. The meeting formed part of nationwide consultations by the IEA/WTA Advisory Committee with the view to mobilising national consensus on the review process of the 1992 constitution

Politics is lucrative

Mr Dumanya observed that many people were going into politics because they considered it to be a lucrative endeavour, pointing out that unless that issue was addressed "we would continue to'nave problems".He also stressed the need to limit the enormous powers of the executive ,presidency in respect of appointments by ensuring, for instance, that thetenure of some of those appointees went beyond the tenure of the President. He was not comfortable with what he described as "too much freedom" enjoyed by the media in Ghana and stressed the need to control such freedom. "A time will come when someone will come and shoot you in the office because he or she has no provision to seek redress," he cautioned media practitioners.

Call to service

The President of GNAT, Mr Paul Agyei Boakye, said it was important for people to understand that politics was a means to serve the people, not to amass wealth. He said when the people had a right view of the governance system, "winner-takes-all" would not even be an issue because, in his opinion,permanent consensus could never be achieved. He said the constitutional provision that allowed the President to appoint Ministers of State from Parliament should be reviewed because of the negative effect it had on Members of Parliament (MPs) in respect of attendance and performance of Parliamentary duties. He, therefore, suggested that any MP, who was appointed a minister of state, ought to vacate his seat because "you cannot be a member of the Executive and Legislature at the same time".

WTA is problematic

The Deputy Chairman of the TEA! WTA Advisory Committee, Justice Emile Short, outlined a number of issues, such as the powers of the executive presidency, the appointment of district chief executives by the president and the inability of Parliament to initiate bills, as some of the trappings of the "winner-takes-all" system of governance that must be addressed. He said when adequately dealt with, the rancour, acrimony and tension that characterised elections and the sabotage of the national agenda by those who felt excluded from the system, among other problems, should subside. A member of the IEAIWTA Advisory Committee, Mr Kabral Blay-Ainihere, said the "winner-takes-all" system of governance was the basis for polarisation in the country, adding that countries such as Germany and Israel had sought to address the problem through the formation of coalition governments.

Source: Daily Graphic

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