Ben Imoro, a former Vice-President of the Ghana Association of Writers (GAW), has reiterated calls for amendments to be made to the 1992 Constitution to meet the current political and economic development needs of the country.
According to him, there was nothing strange about amending a constitution if times demanded that it was done.
“The Americans have so many times amended their constitution so much so that, they don’t even mention their constitution. They just say ‘1st amendment, 25th amendment, 2nd amendment, 3rd amendment. That is what they call their constitution… The British don’t have a constitution. They have been updating their situation from time to time,” he said.
He made the assertion at the launch of a book on Ghana’s democracy titled “Mandocracy”, in Accra.
The 16-page book seeks to inspire a new democratic system of governance different from the current one being practised by the country.
Calls for the amendment of certain aspects of the Constitution have been intense in recent times with various individuals and groups, including civil society organisations, social and political commentators and religious leaders, adding their voices.
Imoro noted that the Constitution had served the country well over the last three decades, however, times demanded that changes were made to it to deliver the development the citizens so much desired.
According to him, the current status quo served their (politicians) interest, especially, when in power, hence their reluctance in heeding to calls for amendment.
“The reason for delaying the amendment is that they (politicians) are comfortable with some of the clauses that we want to change,” he said.
He noted: “For instance, why should the President appoint the Electoral Commissioner and then sit in as a competitor? How? Can you imagine, as I said, Kotoko vs Hearts with Hearts having a referee of their own and Kotoko being denied theirs? Is it possible in football? If it’s not possible, why is it that in political competition, the President appoints the Electoral Commissioner and also becomes a competitor? That means, he is a judge in his own case. Something like that must change, but the politicians are comfortable with it.”
“At the time the Constitution was being written the Head of State was a military man, so, they decided certain things that made the President so powerful, but now that we are in a civilian rule, we must look at the Constitution again and change certain things that would make it possible to have a favourable political system,” he added.
In his book, Imoro who is also a veteran Film Director and Journalist proposed a democracy where love for the country superseded individual parochial interests.
In this new type of democracy, he suggested that a position of a Prime Minister was created to head the government and an Upper Chamber of Parliament established, to reduce the current tendency of arrogating all powers to one person (the president).
He also urged the leaders to ensure that any changes made to the system of governance in the future recognised the traditions of Ghanaians to ensure that they resonated with the people.