Jerry Rawlings calls for review of Ghana’s constitution

Over the years the indemnity clauses have emboldened certain characters to abuse their offices and profit themselves
Jerry Rawlings calls for review of Ghana's constitution
Jerry Rawlings, former Ghana’s President, attends a special African Union meeting on Sudan, on January 31, 2011 in Addis Ababa. African Union leaders sought a peaceful solution to crises in Ivory Coast and other continental hotspots Sunday even as they designated a new chairman notorious for his brutal seizure of power. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP)

Former Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings is calling for an urgent review of the country’s 1992 constitution that ushered in the Fourth Republic.

Speaking to members of the opposition National Democratic Congress in Accra on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of the June 4 Revolution, Rawlings observed that there are many clauses in the constitution that no longer serve the interest of the people of Ghana.

“There is an unqualified need to reform or rewrite our current constitution after 27 years of its endorsement,” Rawlings told the gathering. 

Rawlings had supervised the promulgation of the document in 1992 to herald Ghana’s return to multiparty democracy. It was approved in April 1992 through a national referendum after 92% support.

“Over the years the indemnity clauses have emboldened certain characters to abuse their offices and profit themselves,” the former President said. “It is quite evident that a lot of our people are losing confidence in our constitutional mandate.” 

“The constitution of the Fourth Republic was created by us, for us and to serve us, and in light of the 25 years (sic), there is an unqualified need to reform or rewrite our current constitution,” he told the party faithful while using the opportunity to send a message to the nation.

The former President proposed the urgent establishment of a constituent assembly with powers to re-write the constitution.

“Their job would involve reviewing all the constitutional clauses especially the problematic ones, like the transitional provisions, indemnity clause, amongst others. This will ensure that everyone is equal before the law, encouraging transparency, accountability and responsible governance,” Rawlings explained.

The former Ghanaian president also took a dig at some leaders in South Africa for failing to educate their citizens on the contribution of African governments to the end of apartheid thereby resulting in xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans. 

“I would like to use this opportunity to remind our brothers in South Africa of the role we have all played in the past to bring about the change in that great country. Just as we were contributing to their liberation, the apartheid regime was also financing treacherous black Africans in our countries.” Rawlings reminded new leaders in the rainbow nation. 

“The time has come for them to enhance the security of those who supported and stood by them in their struggle, by exposing the traitors who worked with Apartheid South Africa. These traitors ought to be exposed as they continue to treacherously parade themselves as patriots.”

The NDC was Ghana’s former ruling party founded by Jerry Rawlings in 1992. 

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