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While some of the participants suggested a seven or six year term for the President who must not be allowed to go for a second term, others agreed that the present four-year term and an additional term must stay. Some others were also of the view that the President must first serve for five years and allowed to contest for the seat for another term.
It was also suggested that a separate ministry should be created to cater for the needs of physically-challenged persons who, according to the participants, had always been marginalised.
The forum which was organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs IEAwith support from the United Nations Democracy Fund UNDEFfor the marginalized in society was to enable physically-challenged persons in the Eastern Region to make inputs into the constitutional review process for their welfare.
The term of office of the President took the center stage after a constitutional expert, Justice Srem-Sai, had briefed the participants on the functions of the executive, legislature and judiciary as well as decentralisation, chieftaincy, national elections and Directive Principles of State Policy as contained in the Constitution.
But as soon as Justice Srem-Sai had completed his presentation most of speakers dwelt on the term of office of the President, which some said should be a one-time seven or six year period while others rooted for a four or five-year term with provisions to go for another term.
Proponents of the one-time six or seven-year term explained that such a relatively long period would enable the President to complete his development agenda and that if he or she was to go for another term that would make him or her autocratic.
However, others raised objections and said the present four-year term and an additional term must be allowed to stay,while others were of the view that two terms with each spanning for five years should be allowed by the Constitution. They explained that the President would have to stabilise the economy within the first term with real development coming on during the second term.
Touching on the emoluments, especially the end-of-service of the President and his vice, participants were of the view that they must be based on what pertained in the public service. They explained that it was ridiculous for the two to be paid huge salaries and end-of-service benefits while most civil or public servants who had continuously been at post for over 30 years continued to receive paltry sums as salaries and end-of-service benefits.
The Speaker, they also suggested, must be sworn in only once to take over the duties of either the Vice President or the President whenever both of them happened to be away from the country.
With regard to how long a member of Parliament must stay in the House, participants also expressed divergent views, with some suggesting that MPs must not be in Parliament for more than three terms while others said there should not be limitation to the number of years in the House so far as an MP could perform.
On the appointment of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives MMDCEsmajority of the participants suggested that the President should nominate at most three persons whose fate should be determined by voting in either their respective assemblies or the entire electorate in their districts.
Salaries and end-of-service benefits for the MMDCEs, they further said, must be tied to the revenue generation capacity of their respective assemblies.
Dealing with the welfare of the physically-challenged persons, participants deplored the inability of previous governments to cater for their needs and suggested that a separate ministry should be created in that respect to ensure that what was due to them would be provided.
The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Baba Jamal, expressed appreciation of the Regional Co-ordinating Council to the IEA for organising the workshop, and said his outfit would continue to support the IEA in its efforts to promote local democracy and decentralised participatory government in Ghana.
Earlier in a welcoming remark, a policy analyst of the IEA, Dr Michael Ofori-Mensah, said the workshop was to allow the vulnerable in society, especially the physically-challenged, to make inputs into the Constitution to address their concerns.22 Amazing Ideas to Plan a Slope Yard That You Should Not MissFor where retaining wall is out back Madza RX Vision dressed in the original livery of the Fast and Furious #2bitchn Simple mix-ins that will never leave you wondering what exactly is in that special sauce.
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