Chairman of the New Patriotic Party Constitution Review Committee, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has disclosed that the party might have to consider a minimum of four years to have its constitution reviewed.
According to him, considering the number of proposals received for the amendment of the party’s constitutions, it tells that “people love the party” and they desired for things to be better. Mr Afenyo Markin explained that the number of proposals which came in with respect to the review of the constitution does not come as a “surprise”.
Commenting on the deferment of the party’s constitutional amendments which was scheduled to take place at the National Delegates Conference in Kumasi, the Chairman of the review committee revealed that a sub-committee was set up to review all the proposals. Subsequently, he noted that reports were received and were each considered under the various articles of the constitution. Mr Afenyo Markin then indicated that more time was needed to do a “thorough work” and national council needed to make some input and do more consultation.
“Critically, we looked at the provision in the constitution which talks about, more or less, a yearly review. The fact that a constitution being a fundamental law, we don’t need to be going at it every year. So, perhaps, we have to look at a minimum of four years to have a review of the constitution. We thought that, if we just go to conferences to make the motion all the way through to the ninety-one motions, we wouldn’t be doing justice to the whole constitutional review job we were given. So, the plan was to go to conference, use conference to accept, to mandate, work the national council to fine tune all the issues raised, take decisions and get back to conference for ratification, which they happily accepted”.Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin
Compilation of proposals for review
Mr Afenyo-Markin intimated that everything concerning the process of amendment was done in a very transparent manner. He insisted that the proposals were compiled and not a single one was left out. Following this, he explained that they were later circulated to all 275 constituencies.
“Again, when we finished our work, our report [and] the motions were all sent out to every constituency. So, there were no surprises. The constituencies had the opportunity of looking at everything”.Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin
Touching on whether it was the norm that once the motion is moved, then it will be deferred to the national council, rather than the conference approving the proposals, Mr Afenyo-Markin explained that conference being the highest decision-making body has structures that will be responsible for some decisions. According to him, conference can decide to refer a matter to council and NEC to deliberate and report for ratification.
“It is their mandate as council that they have given to a recognized organ of the party to deliberate upon… I will say that it is in order. Conference wanted a well guided proposal, conference wanted a thorough work to be done. Don’t forget that at conference, we don’t do deliberation, it is the motions that are moved and the usual plenary responses…”Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin