Serving as MP and Minister simultaneously is counter-productive – Sam Okudzeto

Mr Sam Okudzeto is also a private legal practitioner

A member of the Council of State, Mr Sam Okudzeto has called for an amendment of the 1992 Constitution to remove the aspect that allows for the President to appoint Ministers from Parliament.

In his view, lawmaking is a serious business hence, the legislators must be allowed to focus on that responsibility and not mixed it with ministerial functions.

Article 78 (1) of the 1992 Constitution states that “Ministers of State shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of Parliament from among members of Parliament or persons qualified to be elected as members of Parliament, except that the majority of Ministers of State shall be appointed from among members of Parliament.”

Mr Sam Okudzeto wants this status quo changed.

Speaking on the Ghana Tonight show with Alfred Ocansey on TV3 Tuesday November 29, he said “I think that the error we made was that we were trying to mix the Westminster system of government and the presidential system of government.

“That is the mistake that we made in our constitutional process, so if that can be removed because being in parliament is a serious business.

“How on earth can you run a ministry as a minister and at the same time find time to represent your people in Parliament?  You can’t. In fact, if you check the roster, you may find out that there are many ministers who seldom appear in Parliament yet that is their purpose of being elected as MPs, they were not elected to become ministers, they were elected to become MPs to represent the people.

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“So I think that if there should be constitutional review the next time, there should be a separation so that those who want to represent the people should be in Parliament.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana