<![CDATA[The Center for Democratic Development Ghana (CDD) has asked the Council of State members to work hard to justify the monthly GHC13,000 salary for each member. The CDD-Ghana wants the Council to break with the past, which has triggered calls for the total scrap of the advisory and consultative Council, adding “the Council has to live up to its potential as a tool of horizontal accountability in Ghana’s democratic politics”. In a statement issued Thursday by CDD-Ghana, the governance think-tank said though the work of the Counsil is advisory and consultative, it still has to draw lessons from the previous Council “For example, the new Council of State should avoid the mistakes of the immediate past Council that was perceived to have tacitly endorsed egregious presidential decisions, like the pardon granted to the infamous “montie three” or the public endorsement of presidential candidates in competitive elections by individual Council members,” it stated. Despite the Council’s limitations, the CDD-Ghana said the Council can still explore to improve its responsiveness and accountability to the people of Ghana. Quoting Article 91(3) of the country’s constitution, CDD-Ghana said Council can initiative to consider and make recommendations on any matter being considered or dealt with by the President, a minister of State, parliament or any authority established by the Constitution. “This provision envisages that the Council of State would serve as ‘the conscience of the nation’ and in that regard be proactive in the service of the nation rather than wait for a request from the President before it acts,” it added. The think-tank said galamsey which has overwhelmed government and its institutions and caused havoc to forest lands, rivers, agriculture and threatened sustainable, is one area the Council should focus. Meanwhile CDD-Ghana wants the Council to institute periodic briefings to the public on its work and create platforms to engage the public on issues of national interest.