Constitution Day worth celebrating - Ofosu Ampofo

BY: Albert K. Salia
National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo
National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo

The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, has commended Ghanaians for helping to sustain the 1992 Constitution for 30 years.

“It is a feat worth celebrating. We must pat ourselves on the back for sustaining this Constitution thus far,” he said.

He gave the commendation in an interview with the Daily Graphic on the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution and the birth of the Fourth Republic.

The 1992 Constitution came into force on January 7, 1993, after it had been approved in a referendum on April 28, 1992.

Scrutiny

While celebrating the successes of the Fourth Republic, Mr Ofosu Ampofo said it was worth noting that Ghana’s constitutional order had also come under strong scrutiny.

He said the hung Eighth Parliament meant that “we need to work together”.

Apart from the hung Parliament, the House also witnessed the election of a person from the Minority party as Speaker.

“It is a test we must all work on to pass to better our democracy,” he said.

Rule of law

The NDC Chairman said the events heralding the inauguration of the Eighth Parliament, during which some military persons stormed Parliament, must be investigated.

He cited the ongoing investigations into the attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA as a test case for Ghana to follow.

Mr Ofosu Ampofo noted that with Parliament as the citadel of democracy, military persons storming the House must be seen as an assault on Ghana’s democratic dispensation.

He, therefore, called on Parliament to investigate the incident and deal with any individual or individuals who ordered the military to storm Parliament on January 7, 2021, stressing: “We cannot sweep it under the carpet.”

He said the tendency for the Executive to manipulate the system was not good for democratic growth and cited the recent confirmation of some metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives as an example.

“We must check the abuse of the system by all the arms of government, so that we can make progress,” he said.

Review

He reiterated the need for constitutional reforms, especially a constitutional review to help plug any loopholes in the 1992 Constitution.

That, the NDC Chairman said, would help improve the checks and balances in the governance structures.

Background

Since the Constitution came into effect in 1993, it has witnessed the successful transfer of power from the NDC to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2001.

The NPP also handed over power to the NDC in 2009, while the NPP assumed the reins of governance from the NDC again in 2017.

The period has also seen the country earn the accolade as one of the most peaceful, stable and democratic countries on the African continent.