The Right Reverend Daniel S. A. Allotey, Anglican Bishop of Cape Coast Diocese at the weekend described Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings’s flag bearership bid against the sitting President as a threat to the evolving democratic traditions.
“Nana Konadu’s bid is violation of Article 69(1) of the Constitution which states modalities for removing the President, what is going on constitutes an attempt to remove the President of Ghana.”
“The Fourth Republic since 1993 has established a democratic tradition – the sitting President is spared the vigorous, distractive tendencies and divisive mechanism of campaigning for a second term.”
“The two Former Presidents enjoyed it, and Professor John Evans Atta Mills should have been allowed to go through the same evolving traditions,” Rt-Rev. Allotey stated at the 11th Annual National Constitution Week celebration at Cape Coast.
It was on the theme: “The State of Ghana’s Democracy with Emphasis on Political Parties”.
Rt-Rev Allotey lamented that with the current development, the President and the entire State machinery’s energy was diverted from governance to intra-party politicking…”this is a dangerous phenomenon with potency of retarding developmental progress.”
He noted: “Imagine a situation where just after six months in government, leading members of the ruling party begin to work against the sitting President with moves to unseat him or her within the first four year mandate.”
“The President was elected by Ghanaians and can only be removed by Ghanaians it is not the duty of the party or any individual within to tell us that the President is not performing…the judgment day is at Election 2012 not at a party congress”.
Rt-Rev Allotey who was a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution noted: “Developing tenets of democracy with personality focused was the bane of both the Second and Third Republics.”
“Drafting the 1992 Constitution, attempts was made to debar Former President Jerry John Rawlings from contesting the elections by fixing the age of a Presidential Candidate at 50 years, which would have disqualified President Rawlings from contesting the 1992 Elections.
“Judging from the Second and Third Republics, the age was reduced to 40 years…Ghana’s democracy is evolving and must be allowed to grow through tested cultures. We cannot experiment at this stage,” he added.
Other speakers including Dr K. Osei Kwateng, UTAG Secretary, University of Cape Coast and Mr Peter Kojo Grant, a Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Coast focused on the role of political parties in the country.
The forum attended by representatives of some political parties, non-governmental organisations, democratic stakeholders, youth and women’s groupings deliberated on how to go about shaping the political will of the people.
Other issues were; “How far have Political Parties succeeded in shaping political will over the past 18 years; Challenges confronting the ability of Political Parties to shape the political will, issues of ethnicity in Ghana’s multi-party democracy.
The discussants also examined whether elected members of Parliament act as agents of their political parties or on behalf of their constituents; adherence to principles of internal democracy as enshrined in article 55(5) of the Constitution.