Participants criticize ex-presidents’ awards, MPs fund, MMDCEs appointment

Participants at a forum on the review of the 1992 Constitution held in Takoradi, have criticized the institution of the ex-gratia awards for former presidents, the MPs Common Fund and the appointment of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief executives.

The participants have therefore called for their reviews to reflect what they called the demands of the nation’s young democracy.

The participants argued that Ghana’s economy was not ripe for it to give out such huge properties to former presidents while the developed countries like UK and US, which it looked up to for financial support, gave out little to their ex-presidents.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in conjunction with the United Nation Democracy Fund (UNDEF) organized the forum for the participants, which included traditional authorities, religious leaders, Civil Society groups and workers.

It was under the theme: “Giving Voice to the Voiceless in Ghana’s Constitution Review Process”.

On the MPs Common Fund, the participants said since MPs were mandated to make laws and not to oversee developments, the funds given to them was inappropriate.

They said the funds should be allocated only to the assemblies to undertake development projects. They explained that the MPs Funds tended to overlap the core work of the MMDAs.

They said MPs must stop using development as their campaign promises and rather look for other appropriate alternatives to canvass votes from the constituents.

The participants said when MMDCEs were elected they would serve the electorate better since they would accountable to the people.

The participants suggested that the constitution review programme must be held in rural communities to enable the larger grassroots to contribute to the process, saying politicians manage to reach them to seek their votes, but they are left out in important national programmes.

Source: GNA

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