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Parties Asked To Focus On Development Issues

Aug. 27, 2015, 8:59 a.m.

A Senior Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Mr Kwesi Jonah, has asked political parties to focus on development issues rather than concentrating on winning elections.

He said political parties should organise annual conferences to review policies that would enhance their manifestoes as well as provide policy alternatives for the ruling party instead of focusing on elections all the time.

To actively draw strategic and comprehensive manifestoes and raise issues on national policies, Mr Jonah also urged political parties to build effective and functional research and policy departments to enable them to articulate their case.

Mr Jonah, who is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), made these remarks when he made a presentation on the theme “Ghana’s proposed Constitutional Amendments: How developmental are they?”, at a workshop in Accra.

The workshop was organised by the Economy of Ghana Network, an initiative by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana to discuss the Constitutional Amendments.

The Economy of Ghana Network is a civil society organisation made up of individuals interested in discussing issues related to proper management of the economy, and it provides the platform for disseminating research findings and deliberating on the policy relevance.

According to Mr Jonah, political parties did not have to wait till an election year before talking about their manifestoes, rather, he said, they could organise conferences annually to review their manifestoes and formulate and develop alternative policies to the party in power.

He said they needed to employ the services of university graduates from different fields to run the research centres and not party members who might not have ideas about the subjects.

On the review of the 1992 Constitution, Mr Jonah expressed concern about the 97 entrenched and non-entrenched provisions in the Constitution which needed to be amended, adding that it was too much of a change to effect.

“It would be more preferable to consider only one or two key amendments at a time rather than undertake such a large-scale revision within a short period,” he stated.

He added that the analysis of the Constitution Amendment (Entrenched Provisions) Bill 2014 also clearly indicated that far from focusing on development-related issues, the greater proportion of the amendments were focused on the Presidency, including his powers, obligations, assumption of office and succession of office.

That, he said, was too much of a concentration, adding, “The new amendment allows the President to be sworn in at anywhere apart from Parliament in exceptional cases and also by any justice of the superior court of judicature in situations where the Chief Justice is not available to administer the oaths.”


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Development Planning Commission(NDPC)