Our presidents have not been in the habit of acting prudently – Prof. Gyimah Boadi

The Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) Prof. Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi is advocating radical constitutional amendments that will curb the discretionary powers of the president.

He said even though the constitution cannot contain detailed rules guiding the conduct of the president, it has become necessary to curb the powers of the president because our “presidents have not been in the habit of acting prudently.

Professor Gyimah-Boadi was commenting on the creation of a new Ministry of Power by President John Mahama, in a chat with Joy FM’s Super Moning Show host, Kojo Yankson.

He said the unplanned creation of the new ministry with its concomitant financial implications amounted to an abuse of discretionary power.

“In a spirit and letter of democracy, if you are going to create an agency whose expenses are going to be charged on the public treasury, then an appropriation should be made for it [by Parliament],” he stated.

According to him, the current arrangement where the president is allowed to create any number of government agencies as he deems fit is a recipe for chaos.

“Assuming that a president wants ignore or deliberately neglect any of the existing state agencies, ministries and department, all they do is to set up a parallel one and fund that one. What does that do to help governance of a country? Assuming that the president wants to fund something that is useful to the president on partisan grounds, again all they do is to ignore all existing institutions for delivering the same goal and create their own; this then leads to the creation of parallel security agencies, parallel institutions of public administration, parallel parastatals and the like.”

He said a country in Ghana’s stature shouldn’t do things simply because the constitution permits the president to do so. 

More soon.

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