‘Reduce President’s power of public appointments’ – Odike

Politics of Thursday, 12 September 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

2019-09-12

Leader and Founder of the United Front Party, Akwasi Addai

The Leader and Founder of the United Front Party (UFP), Mr Akwasi Addai, has called for the powers of the President to make key appointments to state institutions to be reduced.

That, according to him, would give impetus to the fight against corruption.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, he said the nation’s Constitution gave the President too much power, and such power created the avenue for corruption upon assumption of office by a President.

Explaining further, he said because the President had been helped by some individuals during the electioneering to win power, such persons were appointed into public office.

Once in office, he held, they saw the opportunity to recoup whatever investments they had made into the campaign of the President, thereby dipping their hands into the public purse.

Enhancing meritocracy

Mr Addai, popularly called ‘Odike’, observed that there was the need for a system that would create an environment for meritocracy, pragmatism, honesty and efficiency.

In view of that, he said given the chance to lead the country, one of the examples that he would give Ghanaians would be to amend the Constitution and strip the President of most of the powers.

There was also a need, he said, to introduce a bicameral legislature and that under such a system, Members of Parliament (MPs) would not be appointed as ministers of State where Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) would be elected on a non-partisan basis.

“All institution heads will go through a process of being selected by their various institutions. For example, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) will be selected by the Police Administration, the Chief Justice will be selected by the Judicial Service and only the Attorney-General will be appointed by the President,” he pointed out.

When that was done, he said, corruption would be reduced drastically by at least 70 per cent and that would make the work easier.

Wrong approaches

It was the viewpoint of Mr Addai that both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had failed in the fight against corruption as both parties had resorted to chasing perpetrators, “but that is not the way to go”.

The approach rather, he said, ought to be preventive in order to stem its occurrence.

He posited that, “You can’t open your doors and expect a thief to come and steal before you chase the thief. So both parties have it all wrong.”

He alleged that both the NPP and the NDC were touting the arrest and prosecution of people, as well as the bringing in of the Special Prosecutor “but what we need is very simple, and that is for Ghanaians to open their eyes”.

“We need to make conscious effort at decoupling all state institutions from the President’s influence. When we are able to achieve this, corruption will be minimised,” he stated.

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