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Politics | Society

Ghana constitution review engages citizens

Ghanaian Professor of Public Law, Albert Fiadjoe

© Albert Fiadjoe/afrol News
afrol News, 28 September
- A commission mandated to review Ghana's 1992 constitution is getting wide popular attention. Some 50,000 proposals to change the country's basic law have already been submitted, even before Accra's population is heard.

The Ghanaian Constitution Review Commission is touring the country to get popular views and advices on the possible shortcomings of the constitution. The 1992 constitution introduced multi-party democracy in the country and ended the era of the Jerry Rawlings military rule. It has since paved the way for a model democracy.

Nevertheless, the constitution was more or less dictated by Mr Rawlings and the current Ghanaian government holds it may have several shortcomings. But it wants possible amendments to be the product of citizens' engagement.

Commission Chairman Albert Fiadjoe says he since April has held popular consultations in 170 districts in Ghana, most of which are rural. He revealed that the Commission so far had received over 50,000 submissions through the various strategies designed to interact with the people of Ghana.

"The areas of the constitution that have attracted the most attention of the people have included the powers of the executive, the judiciary, parliament, chieftaincy and polities; Decentralisation and election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives; Human rights; and Spousal rights," Professor Fiadjoe said.

Yesterday, the Commission's hearings in the Greater Accra area started in a ceremony headed by the Accra Regional Minister, Nii Armah Ashietey. Mr Ashietey pointed out that the review of the constitution "will not necessarily end up in changing the whole constitution by replacing it with a new one, but rather amendments will be made where necessary."

In the capital region, the Commission expects a further rush of submissions both from ordinary citizens and traditional leaders. Several public hearings will be held. Further, it will consult with stakeholders and dignitaries, including former President Rawlings and John Kufuor.

After the Constitution Review Commission has toured the entire nation, its nine members are to review the large number of suggestions and submissions, compiling a report. The report, with recommendations, is to be presented President John Atta Mills by January 2011.

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