The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, says calls for constitutional reforms are in the right direction but believes the country at this time needs strong democratic institutions and the right human resources.
In Bagbin’s view, constitutional reforms without the development of appropriate human resources will amount to nothing.
Many Ghanaians including the Majority Leader in Parliament and some prominent Civil Society Organisations have on several occasions demanded reforms in the 1992 constitution to reflect the current society.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on Wednesday, February 22, called for a new constitutional order that would place a cap on the number of ministers appointed by the President.
Speaking at the launch of the 30 years of parliamentary democracy, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu outlined a series of benefits to be achieved with the consideration of constitutional reform.
“We need a constitutional order that would mitigate the winner takes all attitude and prevent the do-or-die combat associated with our elections. We need a new constitutional order that would prevent the constant increase in the number of seats in Parliament.”
“We need a new constitutional order that would put a cap in the number of ministers of state. We need a new constitutional order that would ensure that the Speaker of Parliament is a serving member of Parliament,” the Suame MP said.
The Dean of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Prof. Vladimir Antwi-Danso has also called for an entirely new constitution contrary to calls for the 1992 constitution to be amended.
Prof. Antwi-Danso holds the view that a new constitution written by a committee so established will repair any defects that currently plague the country’s democratic dispensation.
“I believe that if we have something new (new constitution), politicians will jump to it to serve a better purpose,” he stressed.
But in his remarks at the launch of the 30-year celebrations of parliamentary democracy, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin said the focus must be shifted to the development of human resources.
“We must focus on strengthening our democratic institutions, and we must focus on getting the right human resources to lead the country. You can keep on changing your constitutions but if you don’t get the human resource correct, you can never develop your society.
“I believe if they send us to Singapore, Singapore will become undeveloped, so the main focus of development is the human resource.”