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67 Years of civilian, military rule: Time to adopt no-political party system

At the time we attained independence from British colonial rule on March 6, 1957, Ghanaians looked forward to improvement in their welfare and conditions of living.

After 67 years of practising various systems of politics, we have not realised these aspirations. In this article, I will propose for Ghana to adopt a new system of politics which will harness the talents and skills of all citizens to ensure their welfare and significant improvement in their conditions of living.

Purpose of governments
The purpose of a government is to manage the human, material and financial resources of the country in a way as to ensure the maximum welfare and significant improvement in the living conditions of citizens.

Brief survey of administrations
We have had 16 administrations, including One one-party civilian government, nine multi-party civilian governments and six military regimes. The first civilian administration was the Convention People’s Party (CPP) administration headed by the first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Following his overthrow on February 24, 1966, General J.A. Ankrah headed the first military regime of the National Liberation Council (NLC). The next civilian administration was the Progress Party government headed by Professor K.A Busia, who was in office for 27 months.

The next military regime of the National Redemption Council (N.R.C) was headed by General I.K. Acheampong. He later became the Chairman of the Supreme Military Council (SMC I). After his removal from office in a palace coup, General F.W.K Akuffo headed the Supreme Military Council (SMC II). The next military regime was headed by Flight Lt J.J. Rawlings after he removed General Akuffo from office.

After staying in office for three months, he handed over to the next civilian government of the People’s National Party ( PNP), headed by President Dr Hilla Limann. After 27 months in office, Flight Lt J.J. Rawlings launched the December 31, 1981, Revolution and stayed in office until he was sworn in as President of the next civilian administration, the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The next civilian government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was headed by President J.A. Kufuor. The next civilian government of the NDC was headed by President J.E.A Mills.

After he died in office, John Mahama took over as President to complete the four-year term. The next civilian government of the NDC was headed by President John Mahama. The next civilian government of the NPP, headed by President Nana Akufo-Addo, has been in office since January,2017.

Although successive governments have pursued various policies and programmes during their tenure of office to ensure the welfare of the citizens, there are very serious challenges in almost every aspect of our national life. The national economy is in such a crisis that it has become necessary for the government to take loans to pay our debts.
The unemployment level is so high that it is threatening our national security. Our rivers and other water bodies continue to be seriously polluted as a result of galamsey activities. After 67 years of independence, we still import almost everything, including tomatoes and onions from our neighbouring countries.

Reasons for state of affairs
The first and most important reason is that, as a people, we have divided ourselves into groups which have been fighting one another for the last 67 years, we have not heeded the caution that Our Lord Jesus Christ gave over 2000 years ago in the gospels according to Matthew, Mark and Luke.

I am using the Good News Bible. Matthew 12:25 says Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, “Any country that divides itself into groups which fight against each other will not last very long. And any town or family that divides itself into groups which fight each other will fall apart.”

Mark 3:24-25 says, “If a country divides itself into groups which fight each other, that country will fall apart.” If a family divides itself into groups which fight each other, that family will fall apart”.

Luke 11:17 says, But Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said to them, “Any country that divides itself into groups which fight each other will not last very long; a family divided against itself falls apart”.

We are so divided that we are unable to agree on a National Development Plan which should guide the manifestoes of the different political parties with the result that successor governments stop development projects funded with foreign loans. Work on projects such as the construction of hospitals, schools and roads is stopped whenever there is a change of government. This leads to the wastage of huge sums of foreign exchange. Another reason for our present state of affairs is the huge expenditure the different political parties spend on campaigns for elections.

Another reason is the huge expenditure on the large size of government. Another is our failure to domesticate. After 67 years of independence, we import almost everything including tomatoes and onions from our neighbouring countries. This leads to the expenditure of huge sums of foreign exchange.

What should we do?
I propose that Ghana, our dear country, adopts a No- Political Party, All Inclusive System of Politics which harnesses the talents and skills of all citizens to ensure the maximum welfare of the people and significant improvement in their conditions of living.

Features of a new political system
There will be three arms of government, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The Executive arm of government will be headed by the Executive President. The Legislature will be headed by the Speaker of Parliament. The Judiciary will be headed by the Chief Justice. All appointments will be based on competence and integrity. The state will fund all elections. Members of Parliament will serve as independent candidates.

To ensure maximum freedom of thought and expression, there will be no whip system. The main criteria for election will be public spiritedness, integrity and competence. There will be two modes of election, one for the Members of Parliament and the other for the Executive President. The two-stage mode will be used to elect Members of Parliament. The qualified aspirants will go for the district-level election, to be followed by the constituency-level election to elect a Member of Parliament for each constituency. The three-stage mode of election will be used to elect the Executive President.

There will first be the constituency-level election, to be followed by the regional-level election and then finally the National-level election. In keeping with the Principle of Separation of Powers, no Member of Parliament will be appointed as a Minister of State. Decisions in Parliament will be by simple majority.

Transition
Stage 1: Promulgation of a new Constitution for the new system of politics. Stage 2: Elections for both parliamentary and presidential candidates.

The Executive President, Nana Akufo-Addo, will then hand over to the newly elected Executive President. In my humble opinion, the only person who has the executive authority to supervise such a major transition from party politics to the civilian No-Political Party, All-Inclusive System Politics is the current President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Conclusion
After practising party politics and military rule for 67 years since we attained independence from the British colonial rule on March 6, 1957, we have not realised our hopes and aspirations. This is mainly due to the very divisive nature of party politics and military regimes.

The different groups never agree on anything. I have, therefore, proposed that Ghana adopts the No-Political Party, All-Inclusive System of Politics to ensure that the talents and skills of all the citizens are employed in the governance of the country for the maximum welfare and significant improvement in the living conditions of the people. Divided We Fall; United We Stand.

The Writer was a member of the 1978 Constitutional Drafting Commission

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