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Ex-Judge Urges Constitutional Review in Ghana

by Victor Adetimilehin

Ghana’s democracy needs to be protected and improved, according to a former Supreme Court Justice, William Atuguba. He made this call during a public lecture and panel discussion at the University of Ghana on Tuesday. The event, which was organized by the Political Science Department, focused on the role of the judiciary in safeguarding democracy in the country. Justice Atuguba, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2018, was the keynote speaker.

He said that the current constitution of Ghana, which was adopted in 1992, has some flaws that need to be addressed. He specifically pointed out the appointment of four presidential representatives to the judicial council and the practice of appointing ministers from parliament as areas of concern.

He argued that these provisions undermine the independence and accountability of the judiciary and the legislature, respectively. He also said that they create conflicts of interest and compromise the separation of powers among the three branches of government.

He called for an immediate review of the constitution to rectify these issues and strengthen the democratic system in Ghana. He said that such a review should involve broad consultations and participation from all stakeholders, including civil society, political parties, traditional authorities and ordinary citizens.

He also praised some political activists and civil society organizations in the country for their efforts in promoting democracy and good governance. He mentioned notable names such as Kevin Taylor and Professor Gyampo, acknowledging their contributions to the democratic process.

He, however, urged these activists and organizations to remain consistent in their advocacy, regardless of which political party is in power. He emphasized the importance of holding all political parties accountable and ensuring that the principles of democracy are upheld at all times.

Justice Atuguba’s call for constitutional review and his recognition of the role of civil society in protecting democracy highlight the ongoing discussions and debates around governance and the rule of law in Ghana.

The country, which is often praised as a model of democracy in Africa, has faced some challenges in recent years, such as electoral disputes, corruption scandals, human rights violations and security threats.

Many observers have called for reforms and improvements in various aspects of the political system, such as electoral laws, campaign financing, judicial appointments, parliamentary oversight and local governance.

Source: GhanaWeb

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