For 30-yrs and counting the 1992 Constitution has blocked military takeover in Ghana – SC Justice tells critics

Even if the 1992 Constitution has not met all the expectations of Ghanaians, it has been able to keep the country together without military intervention for 30 years and counting, a Justice of the Supreme Court, Gabriel Pwamang, has said.

He explained that although per0ns are at liberty to criticize the structure of the constitution and compare it to others jurisdictions, but the benefit of the constitution must not be overlooked.

He said this when he delivered a lecture at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences during the 2022 Annual Constitution week lecture of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) Tuesday May 10 on the theme: “Three Decades of Uninterrupted Constitutional rule; Revisiting the Agenda for Reforms.”

He said “Others make calls for total change of the Constitution as if they have a problem with even the basic structure of the constitution including the human rights provisions.

“But it must not be easily forgotten that we framed the 1992 Constitution the way it is on the back of our political experience pre-independence time. So critics of our constitution put philosophical principles on democracy propounded in the 18th century and compare our constitution to those of the other countries and conclude that our constitution is not democratic.

“However, whiles it is always good to learn from other people’s experience, we should not underrate the thinking that informed our constitutional structure which, if it has done nothing for us at all, it has kept us together as one nation without military intervention for 30 years so far.”

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Recently, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said if required, the 1992 Constitution should be amended to meet the needs of contemporary and future times.

He said this in his address on the 30th anniversary of the 1992 Constitution on Thursday April 28.

“The Constitution is a living document and so whenever circumstances require, we should be prepared to make the necessary amendments to affect the needs of contemporary and future times,” he said.

Mr Akufo-Addo further said that there are persons who seek to cut short the democracy of Ghana by pronouncing coups.

He said such persons either do not respect the Ghanaian people or fear that they will be rejected in an election hence calling for overthrow of an elected government.

Mr Akufo-Addo urged all Ghanians to reject such persons.

“Several attempts to take Ghana down the path of multiparty democracy was met with stiff opposition and cynical response.

“They will rather have authoritarian rule foisted on the citizens claiming Ghana was underdeveloped and we needed to get things done in a hurry.

“They claimed that democracy was cumbersome and will divide Ghanaians along along tribal lines . However, the word was widespread and unanimous to have a decade-long ban on party political activities imposed in 1981 lifted and the return to multiparty democracy established. The Ghanaian people wanted a living condition of freedom where there was respect for individual liberty,” he said.

He added “Simply because they have no respect for the Ghanaian people , they are either unwilling to subject themselves to the open scrutiny of the Ghanaian people or because they know that that they will be rejected by the Ghanaian people.

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“Thus seeking a short cut to office in power. Let us resist such persons for our common good.”

Some Ghanaians including members of the  Economic Fighters League , have said the current constitution of Ghana is to blame for what they describe as, rot, suffering and ill-governance being experienced in the country, which according to them, gives life to retrogression and discrimination.

In a statement to mark Constitution Day, the Fighters said the 1992 Constitution was deliberately drafted, gazetted and adopted just to benefit a few elites.

The Fighters have been at the forefront of the demand for a new constitution saying the current one has put Ghanaians through 30 years of retrogressive governance, constitutional dictatorship, poverty and underdevelopment.

To buttress their demands, the Fighters said every constitution must be the foundation upon which freedoms are built which they say is unfortunately missing in Ghana’s constitution.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana


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