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The former President John Agyekum Kufuor has stoked fresh debate over the appropriateness of the system that allows the President to appoint majority of ministers from Parliament.

He called for discussions on the constitutional provision that allows the appointment of the majority of ministers from Parliament, saying the country is the big loser for it.

Ex President Kufuor indicated that the system impedes Parliament’s oversight of the Executive.

The President is required to appoint the majority of cabinet ministers from Parliament in accordance with Section 78 of the Constitution.

Article 79 Clause (2) states that “a person shall not be appointed a deputy minister unless he is a Member of Parliament or is qualified to be elected as Member of Parliament.”

Such provision, he added, blurs the line for a proper separation of powers as required by the same constitution.

“Ghana is the loser for having such a hybrid system. I believe that when an ordinary member of Parliament sits next to a member, who is also a minister that can help this member get infrastructural work in his constituency, the whisper goes ‘you scratch my back and I scratch yours’,” he said.


Speaking at a leadership lecture on the theme: “Leadership in Ghana: Meeting Global Standards” at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) at Madina on Wednesday, Mr Kufuor bemoaned the corrupt acts captured in the annual report of the Auditor General.

He was optimistic corruption could be tackled through robust economic progress, effective policing and judicial mechanisms and access to gainful employment with realistic remuneration.

“With the creation of the Office of Special Prosecutor, there is the hope that the fight may be intensified even with limited resource constraints,” he added.

He also tasked civil society groups to patiently clamour for the Right To Information (RTI) Bill, as careful consideration is needed in order not to compromise the security and stability of the country in the process of sharing information.

“It’s obvious that government not passing the bill frustrates the fight against corruption, and civil society groups are up in arms for the lack of passage and they are right to protest,” he stated.

The programme was attended by students, scholars and some renowned politicians.

Notable among them was the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia.


Mr Kufuor, who has 50 years of experience in politics and governance and celebrated his 80th birthday over the weekend, described leadership as the bane of Africa’s development.

He revealed that societies with quality leadership make appreciable progress in terms of socio-economic development especially when such leadership qualities are exhibited within institutional framework.

“Africa needs well-drilled, knowledgeable and committed leaders, who respect their people and humanity and truly uphold the national constitutions by which they become vested with people’s power to govern,” he stated.

He said some unfit leaders across the globe have subverted power through autocracy, suppressed the press and promoted xenophobia as a result of frustration among the youth.

The former president said that leadership should be in consonance with the rule of law and a liberal order where there is equality before the law and humanity at the centre of governance.

Mr. Kufour said Ghana has had a history where power has alternated between civilians and the military for 27 years from independence to date.

He described the Fourth Republic as the most enduring period for leadership where the governance system has truly been tested.

“Adherence to constitutional requirement in electing leaders, seeking legal redress in court against the state and the repeal of the criminal libel law, which culminated in a free press are positive indicators that show how entrenched democracy has been in the country.

“In our world today, societies that have gotten the leadership quality right have made appreciable progress in their socio-economic development,” he stated.

“Such quality leadership must exist within sturdy institutional frameworks for it to be effective and beneficial to the generality of the people.”

Former President Kufuor added that “political leadership is the delegation of power of the people from whom power emanates to the leader to wield on the people’s behalf to use and manage the authority and resources of the land for the greater good in terms of the security, stability and development of the people as a whole.”

He quoted former US President Obama, who said that “Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions”.

“Rather, permit me to add this, it must be said that Africa needs well-groomed, knowledgeable, committed, focused and caring leaders, who respect their peoples and humanity and truly uphold the national constitutions by which they become vested with the people’s power to govern.”

“But with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Berlin Wall at the end of the 1980s, liberal democracy seems to have gained ground, and is spreading globally to attain the attributes of global standards for governance among nations.

Touching on the theme of the lecture, “Leadership in Ghana: Meeting Global Standards”, ex-President Kufuor said that “three decades ago such a phrase would have been moot in the bi-polar world of the time, depending on the concept of the West or the East.”

Source: Daily Guide

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