Council of State No Longer Fit For Purpose – Former President Kufour
Former President John Agyekum Kufour has called for the Council of State to be abolished and replaced with a second chamber.
He said this at a seminar organized by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) in Aburi on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.
The seminar formed part of a series of engagements the IEA is undertaking to solicit input towards a possible review of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.
Former President Kufour was of the view that the Council had outlived its usefulness in Ghana’s current democratic dispensation.
“I have had a chance to express my views on the Council of State, a very honorable distinguished institution, well-meaning. But, I can say I don’t think it is fit for purpose given the state of development of our country and given the fact that the nation is committed to practicing democratic governance,” he said.
He proposed that instead of the Council of State, the country should set up another body within parliament to play the advisor role to the President.
“So, I have gone through all these periods, and I have come to a conclusion. Perhaps, what our Constitution should have to temper the extremes of democracy is not a Council of State but a second chamber. A second chamber well composed not on basis of democracy so much.”
The former President added that the term of the second chamber must not be tied to any government’s tenure to ensure continuity in the development provision for the people.
“If we do that, and allow this second chamber to operate openly, in the full glare of publicity, then the wisdom that would be issued from their deliberations would impact not only the President…,” he added.
The Council of State in Ghana is a body of prominent citizens, analogous to the Council of Elders in the traditional political system, which advises the President on national issues.
But in recent times, the role of the Council has been questioned by some prominent voices in academia, politics, and civil society.
Some have called for the body to be scrapped from the Constitution.