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The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has called for five key constitutional amendments before the next presidential and parliamentary elections in 2024.
The areas are the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and the nomination of government appointees into the assemblies.
The other areas are the appointment of Members of Parliament (MPs) as Ministers of State, merging of the positions of Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, the Declaration of Assets regime and the eligibility of Ghanaians in the diaspora to hold public office.
At a press conference addressed by its Executive Director, Mr Richard Niki Armah, the party said the proposed amendments would eliminate loopholes that created opportunities for corruption.
Giving details of the party’s proposals, Mr Armah said Articles 242 (d) and Articles 243 (1) and 243(3) must be amended to return power to the people to enable all Ghanaians to directly elect their district, municipal and metropolitan chief executives without any interference from the President and that government must also not appoint people into the District Assemblies.
“If citizens are capable of electing the President and Members of Parliament, they should be credited with the wisdom to decide who governs them at the local government level,” he stated.
He added that Article 78 (1) must also be amended to prohibit Members of Parliament from being appointed as Ministers of State or MPs must resign from Parliament after their ministerial appointment.
Mr Armah said the party was advocating the concept of strict separation of powers as the current arrangement where the 1992 Constitution by design bequeathed Parliament to the Executive had hampered Parliament’s ability to exact accountability from the Executive on behalf of the people.
He said Article 286 (1) and 286 (3) should also be revised to introduce a Public Declaration of Assets Regime as another tool in the fight against corruption.
He stated that the current process where the Assets Declaration forms and its contents were concealed was not effective, hence the need for a new Assets Declaration Regime where the completed forms would be published and could be accessed by any interested citizen for the purpose of verification.
Mr Armah also called for an amendment of Article 94 (2)(a) to enable Ghanaians with dual citizenship to hold public office and participate fully in Ghana’s democratic process.
“We hold the view that Ghanaian citizens are Ghanaian citizens whether they hold dual nationality or not. In fact, their citizenship of Ghana cannot be vitiated by virtue of their dual nationality. Dual nationality is secondary to citizenship,” he stated.
He added that there was, therefore, no justification whatsoever to deny “our kith and kin such rights when they pour into our economy huge sums of foreign exchange by way of remittances to family and friends.”
Mr Armah said the party had decided to declare December 7 every year as #FixTheConstitution Day.
“We will seek collaboration with civil society organisations and other democratic institutions interested in constitutional amendments for this national exercise,” he stated.