President has too much power in selecting members of Council of State – Former Speaker of Parliament

A former Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, has said that no president should be allowed to appoint the people who form the Council of State.

He explained that seeing that the primary role of the Council of State is to offer advice to the president, there the need for some neutrality so that they can effectively provide sound advice to the high office.

Speaking at the launch of the Professor Mike Oquaye Centre for Constitutional Studies at the Institute of Economic Affairs, Ghana (IEA Ghana), the political science scholar said the current provision that allows the president to make his own choices for advisors is just too much.

“The president has too much power in the appointment of the Council of State members. There are three categories of members. First, are the representatives of the regions. The president may influence but does not appoint. Second, four persons who represent institutions, for example, former Chief Justice, former CDS, former IGP, and President of the House of Chiefs. If more than one person is available and eligible, the president has a choice.

“Third, the president has a free hand in choosing eleven other persons from the regions,” he explained.

Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye further clarified why he believes such an arrangement makes the president too powerful.

He said that there is the need for the emulation of the traditional system of selecting elders who serve under chiefs across the country.

“It should be pointed out that customarily, no chief in Ghana in Ghana has the power to appoint his elders and advisors in this way. The elders are heads of the various lineages that come to the council by right. We need to introduce institutional and representative participation and not allow the president to choose his own advisers,” he said.

Watch him speak about it here:

 

 

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