FEATURE: SOME REFLECTIONS ON PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM IN GHANA

By: Napoleon Ato Kittoe/ www.africanakua.com, Ghana

At some point when Edward Akufo Addo was taken ill, his ceremonial duties as President were taken over temporarily by Justice Nii Amaa Ollenu in 1970.

Under the Westminster/Parliamentary system of government Ghana operated under Busia (2nd Republic); the executive head of government is elected (Prime Minister Busia) and because this kind of system has the prime minister sitting with his MPs and Ministers in Parliament during debates, it is not possible to also execute his ceremonial duties like a President does in the Presidential System, where neither the President nor his Vice can sit in Parliament. Someone has to be appointed to perform those ceremonial duties, while he battles it out in parliament. Busia chose Edward Akufo Addo- (The post of Ceremonial President).

The Parliamentary System of Government

The Parliamentary System is very effective especially for a country such as Ghana. It keeps the government continually on its toes with no guarantee of a 4-year tenure because there is this “Sword of Damocles” hanging over their heads; the dreaded VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE- that sees the exit of the Prime Minister with his group out of government.

The parliamentary system does not give official recognition of the spouse of the Prime Minister. Spouse’s status and social standing can in no way jeopardise the career of the Prime Minister and there are no statutory freebies made for them to saddle the taxpayer in this respect.

As you can recall, Margaret Thatcher’s husband is unknown to many in England. Did you ever see Netanyahu’s wife on air? Or can you mention the names of the wives of the Japanese Premier, or that of Italy, Boris Johnson’s wife, Tony Blaire’s and so forth? Because Ghanaian Politicians do not want their maximum tenure to be determined by performance, and to ensure that their wives are also adequately catered for, they quickly shifted to the Presidential System (USA) in the third Republic. With this system you can sleep for four long years, who cares- It is a chartered flight.

 A SECOND LADY TOO is recognised, in the Presidential System-  the aggregate of the damage on the taxpayer. Honestly we have a disguised system of CHIEFTAINCY, screened with “Democracy Powder” garnished with “Democracy Spice” and washed down with “Rhetorical Democratic Juice”

 FOLLOW AFTER THEIR MENTOR, the big power, that orchestrated the overthrow of Osagyefo the great, Nkrumah.

MARK THE WORDS OF THE PROPHET (ROBERT NESTOR MARLEY) IN A SONG: “These are the big fish, Who always want to eat up the small fish, They will do, anything , To materialize , Their every wish…………………(then he continues……….)  WOE TO THE DOWNPRESSER , THEY EAT UP THE BREAD OF SORROW TOMORROW.

Napoleon Ato Kittoe is a columnist for www.africanakua.com and a senior journalist with the Ghanaian state broadcaster, GBC.

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