A lawyer and leading member of the Convention Peoples Party, Bright Akwetey has waded into the controversial debate of whether or not to scrap the office of the Vice President and replace it with that of a Prime Minister.
The proposal of scraping the office of Vice Presidents was originally raised by former president John Agyekum Kufuor who stated last week that the current office of Vice President is irrelevant because the vice is only made to act in the absence of the President making him somewhat redundant.
Former president Kufuor also opined that if he had his way,I would repose the executive authority in the President and then allow him or mandate him to appoint his team of ministers led by a prime minister. The Prime Minister and ministers would be the team the executive would send to parliament or the legislature to seek the authority of the legislature making the laws.
The Vice President in a way is more or less like a shadow of the president and that should the president collapse, the Vice President would step instantly into the shoes of the President. I believe its a tempting nature too much.
However, Mr Bright Akwetey speaking on the issue Mr Bright Akwetey shot down the proposals stating that the powers of the Vice President were wrongly reduced in the past.
Giving a background of why the current office of Vice President does not carry its entire authority, Mr. Akwetey drew former President Rawlings into the debate accusing him of wrongfully amending the nations constitution to reduce the powers of the Vice President.
Speaking on Citi FMs current affairs and political program The Big Issue, Mr. Akwetey said the vice president now has been made a little weak, he has been emasculated by circumstances but that is a creation of Jerry John Rawlings.
"The framers of the constitution gave powers or responsibilities to the vice president including Chairmanship of the Police Council, Chairmanship of the Prisons Service Council, and Chairmanship of the Armed Forces Council.
When he had a problem with Ackah (first vice president under Jerry Rawlings under the forth republic), he decided that Ackah should be stripped off every power and therefore he had some of his loyalists moving frantically and happily to remove these clauses from the constitution and amend the constitution.
"I think that was the first amendment to the constitution, I think that was unwarranted. If you are having a problem with the Vice President and beating him up and other things, have him changed at the next elections because you have the option to choose your running mate.
"When it comes to the powers that he stripped of Ackah, it was a personal thing. You dont change the constitution to suit the Head of State; you have to change the constitution to suit the people of this country.
"That is why I blame those who were happily going around thinking about how to make Ackah powerless and get Rawlings more powerful.
If that had not been done, the Vice President would be a very active person without time enough to do other things so I would say that if we go back and spell out the responsibilities of the Vice President, we would not need a prime minister.
"The Vice President would work and step in the shoes of the President anytime there is a vacancy or anytime the president is out of this country. We dont need a Prime Minister.
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