Amend Constitution to allow MPs check presidency – Robert Jackson

American Diplomat, Robert P. Jackson has suggested that Ghana amend its 1992 Constitution to enhance accountability.

According to Mr. Jackson, the constitution should give more power to the legislature to enable them check the executive arm of government.

“I think that Ghana really needs to amend its Constitution to allow Members of Parliament to be able to introduce legislation to be a greater check on the executive branch,” he reportedly said on Class FM on Friday.

Mr Jackson also suggested that District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives should be elected, instead of being appointed by the political parties.

He was of the view that, this would promote accountability and enhance democracy.

“I also think that it is vital that District and Municipal officials be elected rather than appointed so that they can be held accountable by the citizens that they are governing,” he admonished.

The Akufo-Addo led government has stressed on their commitment to ensure DCEs across the country are selected through election.

It is in line with this that Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, has repeatedly stressed that: “We are committed to our manifesto promise of electing MMDCEs, we are committed to the process. Definitely, it involves a lot of processes and we specifically stated that we would elect MMDCEs within a two-year framework and we are committed to the process.

“The Constitutional Review Commission was not entirely against this process; it provided that there should be direct election for the metropolitan assemblies and a different kind for municipal, whereas for the district assembly the status should remain. That was the recommendation, so it is not entirely against it. So we’re proposing that we should elect district chief executives – I believe that it is in tune with the constitutional provision.

“If you look at the directive principle of state policy, Article 35, it says that we should ensure that democracy becomes a reality by decentralising political administration and financial resources and ensuring that every citizen feels part of the decision making, in every aspect of national life and I believe that if we elect district assemblies it’s one way of accountability. We will get them to be accountable to the citizens.

“For instance, parliament’s role is actually legislation but we all want to do development programmes in our constituencies because at the constituency level, people are looking for development. Therefore, if we have a DCE who is supporting development in the constituency and accountable to the people, I think that is the best way to go for it.”

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