Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, has called for a review of the 1992 constitution.
According to him, the constitution was enacted at a time when the country was transitioning to democratic governance, however, it has served its purpose overtime.
He further explained that the times and situations then demanded for such mandates which are irrelevant in today’s governance.
“Well, I think our constitution has served its purpose. It was written during a certain period that [we] were about embarking on this democratic experiment, after so many interruptions in our governance system by the military. I call it the decade that ended the period of decay. If you recall, President Rawlings when he came with the coup from [the] 80’s managed to make it perhaps the last coup. We hope it will be forever, and ushered in the 1992 constitution.
“Now, the constitution if you study it well was also guided by experiences of previous democratic governments. For example, when you have a situation where a majority of members of parliament are appointed ministers. It’s as a result of the experience that we had during the Limann regime, where the government could not have its budget passed. So, they thought the fusion can help bring that harmony between the legislature and the executive”.Alhassan Suhuyini
1992 constitution has outlived its usefulness
Additionally, the Tamale North legislator further explained that due to the transitioning from military to democratic governance there was still some fears.
Citing the possibility of “military interruptions”, Mr Suhuyini insisted that it informed the writing of the constitution. With this, the remarked that he 1992 constitution has outlived its usefulness.
“So, a number of things that happened in past democratic regimes informs some of the decisions that were carved into the constitution. It also informs those who were writing the constitution to factor in the happenings around the time. But by the grace of God over a period… we have come a long way. Some of the things… that were considered for which certain decisions were taken as part of the constitution have long outlived their usefulness.
“I think we have come a full circle and it is time for us to look at some of those things. They have outlived their usefulness but they’re still in the constitution. Again, some of them have been overtaken by time and yet they still remain in the constitution. That is why I think that this discussion is long overdue”.Alhassan Suhuyini
Constitutional review commission
Mr Suhuyini recounted commissions such as the constitutional review commission put in place by late President Mills to deliberate on matters of the constitutions.
According to him, “a lot of money” was spent in setting up the commission which was made up of “distinguished personalities”.
“They went round the country; they interacted with various groups and people and came up with a very beautiful document. In that document, most of the things that have resulted in this present discussion were captured. I recall under President Mahama also a white paper was issued on the work of the constitutional review commission.
“We have not actually moved forward from that white paper. I think it is time for us to move from that white paper and look at those provision that the review commission came up with. I believe that if we go back to that report… we will be addressing many of the concerns that are currently raised”.Alhassan Suhuyini