Today, January 7 2018, marks the 25th anniversary of Ghana’s Fourth Republic. The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) CDD-Ghana joins fellow Ghanaians in marking this historic milestone. We applaud successive administrations and political actors, including the various political parties, and indeed, the entire Ghanaian citizenry for keeping faith with the 1992 Constitution, which ushered in the 4th Republic and has undergirded our democratic governance system and practices in the last quarter of a century.
CDD-Ghana notes with great pride and overall satisfaction the successful conclusion of seven multi-party presidential and parliamentary elections, producing three electoral turnovers in this Republic. We are also happy with the prevalence of peace and unity in the country as well as the growing levels of economic and social development, broadly speaking.
The Center continues to note with dismay, however, that governmental accountability and responsiveness have remained highly insufficient (despite delivery of considerable voice to citizenry under the 4th Republic); public corruption remains pervasive; progress of the constitutionally-mandated political, administrative and fiscal decentralization has stalled; the economy remains characterized by jobless growth; income and spatial inequality are on the rise in spite of poverty reduction; and the nation’s two main political parties which have alternated in power in the 4th Republic have increasingly taken on the features of rival cults (whose primary purpose seemingly is to win elections, achieve “state capture” and practice “winner-takes-all” politics).
We are particularly concerned about the failure on the part of successive governments and majority parties to address the well-known gaps and deficiencies in the 1992 Constitution such as overconcentration of legal and constitutional power in hands of the executive branch in general (especially the presidency), and indirectly, the governing political party.
While we deservingly celebrate our longest running constitutional order since independence, we must also pause to reflect on the things we must do to consolidate and deepen the gains made possible by the 4th Republican Constitution. The list is long, but we can start by passing the 17-year old Right to Information Bill and reforming the public office-holder asset disclosure regime to promote governmental transparency and accountability as well as curb corruption in the public sector. In the medium to long term, we must amend the law and constitution to strengthen Parliament’s ability to oversight the executive (in order to promote effective checks and balances); inject meritocratic selection and fiduciary accountability into the governance of the state corporate sector; and allow for popular election of district mayors to promote local government decentralization and effectiveness. These types of reforms are some of the changes needed for the country to achieve this administration’s grand goal of a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.
Long Live the 4th Republic
Long Live Ghana!
God bless Ghana!
For more information, please contact:
Efua Idan Osam
CDD-Ghana Communications Officer