Council of State members shouldn’t be appointed by President – Koomson

General Secretary of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL), Mr Abraham Koomson, has suggested that future presidents should not appoint Council of State members.

He believes when the appointment of members to the Council is done by a body like Parliament, persons appointed to the esteem office can perform their duties without any influence.

“The situation where the President appoints most of the members of the council of State should be reviewed so that the members do not become an appendage of the President,” Koomson noted.

The Council of State, he observed, has been an integral part of the country’s democracy, especially in the Fourth Republic.

However, he said their work and remuneration has to be well defined in the constitution.

“However, it is obvious that there is absolute need for Article 89 to 92 of the 1992 constitution to be reviewed to give meaning to the role performed by the Council of State,”Mr Koomson said in an interview with Daily Graphic.

He added, “This is to ensure good governance to justify the renumeration being enjoyed under Article 71.”

“Considering the happenings in the country regarding mismanagement of the economy, the resultant hardships on the people and the level of crimes and insecurity in the country , the Council of State cannot be absolved of blame for looking on without raising issues with the president.”

The functions of the Council of State, he noted ought to “be specifically described in the constitution, with the mandate to call the President to order in chaotic situations like what we are experiencing where national security is threatened.”

To him , Parliament, and not President, should assess or appraise the performance of the Council of State members and appropriately determine their competence.

“It is also important for eminent persons who get the opportunity to serve on the council of State discharge their mandate devoid of partisanship so that members of the public will have more confidence in them.”

He added, “The  can worms have been opened about ex-gratia of members of the Council following the decision of one of the members of the immediate past Council to return to ex-gratia paid to him.”

On his part, Dr Akwasi Bosompem Boateng, a lecturer at the School of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), stated that the Council of State is an important body in Ghana’s democratic system.

He was however quick to add that, “government must reduce the number of their appointees, especially party members to the Council.”

He also advised that since its members are prominent citizens who are mostly retired and work on part-time basis, ” their condition of service and privileges , including emoluments and ex-gratia must be re-examined.”



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