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Constitutional review should be devoid of political influences – Barker-Vormawor

The processes involved in drafting and reviewing the constitution of states may vary widely from one country to another.

It comes along with several concerns including, but not limited to, what institutional design to adopt, and what effects the new decisions may have on the citizenry.

In Ghana, conversations on the need to draft a new constitution for the country have already received distinct views and suggestions.

Between 2010 and 2012, Ghanaian citizens expressed views for sweeping changes to the 1992 Constitution.

FixTheCountry movement believes it is high time Ghana visited the importance of getting new laws to govern the nation.

A leading convener of the movement, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, believes the process of reviewing the Constitution should be void of political influences.

“When the first review was done, it was done based on the Commission of Enquiry powers under the constitution. By our Supreme Court, whatever is produced from that constitution review process is only advice to the executive, and it’s advice which they can take or reject.”

“You have a situation whereby they [politicians] can just, by a stroke of a pen, decide we like this or we don’t like this. The risk of just summary rejection continues to haunt a constitution review process,” he said on JoyNews’ The Law, Sunday, October 10.

He added: “This is what you saw with the election of MMDCEs. Even after the white paper said we want it in a particular way, you had the Nana Addo-administration [which] did not listen to the people [but went] back to the Constitution Review Commission’s response, they just took it away entirely.”

“If you can hand over the entirety of the process to a politician, then it means that we’re never going to get the right thing done which is not aligned with their political interests and that’s one of the fears around that.”

According to him, Ghana has over the years suffered from “an overbearing” executive that takes decisions for all without proper consultation and consideration.

“We know from history that when you use a presidential system, you always have a winner-takes-all kind of government so how do we deal with that?” he queried.

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