The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), is urging President Nana Akufo-Addo to immediately initiate processes to implement recommendations made by the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) about ten years ago.
The NDC made the call on the back of reports accusing President Akufo-Addo of claiming that he has no interest in implementing the recommendations of the CRC because the process of reviewing the Constitution was flawed.
President Akufo-Addo is further reported to have said that it is not the business of a sitting President to initiate a review of the 1992 Constitution, and thus expressed no interest in the recommendations of the Commission.
But the NDC at a press conference on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, condemned the remarks attributed to the President.
Addressing the press, Nana Ato Dadzie, Chairman of the NDC Electoral Reform Committee, argued that the “President’s position cannot be correct on both counts”.
“This matter has been subsequent by the Supreme Court in the case of Asare (No. 2) v. Attorney-General [2015-2016] 2 SCGLR 899 in which the Court, by a 5-2 majority ruling, decided that there was nothing wrong with the procedure adopted by His Excellency the President John Evans Atta Mills to have the Constitution amended.”
“We would urge His Excellency the President to accept the interpretation of the Apex Court (Supreme Court) as the correct interpretation of the Constitution and the law, and proceed to urgently activate the processes for the early implementation of the constitutional reforms as set out by the constitutional reform committee on 20th December 2011″, Nana Ato Dadzie added.
The NDC has also proposed 34 recommendations to help reform Ghana’s electoral system.
Mr. Ato Dadzie used the opportunity to update the media on the status of the proposals.
He said so far his committee has met over ten groups and institutions to brief them on the proposals and also solicit for their input.
Some of the groups the party met included Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Organized Labour other than the TUC, Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Diplomatic Community (US Embassy/UK High Commission/Canadian High Commission), the Diplomatic Community (EU Delegation and Member States), Christian Leaders, Muslim leaders among others.
Background on work of the CRC
John Evans Atta Mills, the president at the time, on January 11, 2010, acting in accordance with Article 278 (1) of the Constitution, which confers on the President powers to appoint a Commission of Enquiry into matters of public interest, inaugurated the CRC to review the 1992 Constitution with the Constitution Review Commission of Enquiry Instrument 2010 (C.I. 64).
The CRC was tasked to collate the views of Ghanaians on which provisions of the 1992 Constitution required amendment.
In executing its mandate, the CRC travelled all over the country to hold consultative fora with Ghanaians of all walks of life.
It also received numerous memoranda on what provisions of the Constitution needed to be amended and even on how the CRC should conduct its affairs.
In addition, it also engaged the services of experts to review the Constitution and make recommendations for reforms.
Presentation of report
The CRC worked for two years, and after analysing all the submissions, as well as receiving expert opinions from both local and international consultants, it completed and presented its report to the Government on December 20, 2011.
After receipt of the report, as per Article 280 (3) of the Constitution, the government, on June 15, 2012, gazetted a White Paper stating its positions on the recommendations made by the commission.
Subsequent to the issuance of the White Paper, the government set up the Constitution Review Implementation Committee (CRIC) on October 2, 2012, to study further and engage with citizens, and then implement the recommendations approved in the White Paper.
Meanwhile, a decade after the CRC submitted its report, the government is yet to trigger the necessary processes to have the constitution reviewed.