A former Minister of Foreign Affairs under the John Agyekum Kufuor administration, Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, has raised concerns about the low level of checks and balances in Ghana.
He attributed this to the lack of institutions to keep the ruling class in check.
He explained at a forum held by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) on Friday April 22 that most advanced democracies have top notch checks and balances hence, their leaders are unable to abuse the office.
Ghana, he said, must emulate them and develop the right institutions in order to scale up the oversight.
“There is no checks and balances especially the institutions to check. In America for instance and there are so many democracies, an American president can do certain things but cannot do certain things. It is the check that will promote democracy. Where you don’t have the strong institutions checking, then obviously our democracy will be in shambles,” he said.
For his part, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia called for the protection of all state institutions against the potential capture by leaders he describe as elected autocrats.
In most cases, he said, these leaders see the institutions as limiting their powers hence, will want to have absolute control over them.
He mentioned the Electoral Commission (EC), the courts, tax authorities and the media as some of the institutions that the leaders would want to capture.
Speaking in interview with journalists on the sidelines of the event, he said “The institutions we are talking about, the courts are very important, the media are very important, other civil society organizations, the Electoral Commission, the tax authorities, Parliament.
“These are institutions that are calibrated in very democracy to regulate the use of power and check abuse of power but these are the very institutions when they fall into the hands of autocrats they begin capturing them, sort of compromising them, weakening them because the autocrats want to see those institutions as a limitations on their power, or incumbrances that needs to be removed.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana