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IMANI Policy Debate Series: Does Ghana Have A Winner-Takes-All Constitution?

Many constitutional experts and lay observers of Ghana’s 1992 constitution have argued that it unjustifiably sets up the winner of any general election as the sole distributor of ‘political and economic spoils’. It gets worse with a majoritarian parliament aligned to the winner president.  From economic decision making, laying of bills in parliament to appointing powers, the President has a carte blanche. He for instance, appoints all his ministers, chief directors, agency heads, metropolitan and district chief executives and by inference all messengers and frontline staff of the national disaster management organisation “NADMO” in all the constituencies that make up Ghana. Simply put, he is “Captain Planet”.

 Others are skeptical and actually suggest we do no harm to the constitution by reordering its configurations, intentions and spirits. It is not drunk and clothed with naked power that cannot be sober, they say.  They point to the preamble of the constitution and show it to our faces “IN EXERCISE of our natural and inalienable right to establish a framework of government which shall  secure for ourselves and posterity the blessing of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity;…”

 They even conclude that the directive principles of state policy in “ (5) The State shall actively promote the integration of the peoples of Ghana and prohibit discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of place of origin, circumstances of birth, ethnic origin, gender or religion, creed or other beliefs.” Signify and does demand that the winner shall not take it all. And they finally dare all nay Sayers to go to court to seek interpretation of the constitutional provisions that confound them and where appropriate demand a ruling to order the ‘winner’ to do just as constitutionally and humanly possible.

 However, we will not settle this contentious matter in Court. We shall delight our nervous system, with scholarly exposition and hope that we reach a consensus.


For the motion: Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh

 Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey for the past 10 years. He is a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow one time a Visiting Professor at the newly established law school at the Ghana Institute Of Management And Public Administration (GIMPA). Kwasi has written and consulted extensively on issues of constitutionalism, governance, legal policy, and democracy in Ghana and the rest of Africa. Kwasi was the Director of Legal Policy and Governance of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD) and he continues to serve on the Board of Directors of CDD. Kwasi is also a board member of Ashesi University College, a leading private University in Ghana.

Against the motion: Kofi Bentil Esq.

 Kofi is Vice President for Strategy at IMANI.

He holds the following degrees, BA in Geography. MBA Marketing. MBA Think Tank Mgmt. LLB, QCL. He is a Business Strategy and Services Marketing Consultant and Lecturer and Lawyer. He is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative, Aspen Global Leadership Network and Winner of the World Bank and Partners Entrepreneurship Award in 2005.

DATE: Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TIME: 4:30pm- 7:00pm

FEE: Ghc 50

VENUE: IMANI, No. 44 Kinshasa Avenue, East Legon. Two speed ramps from the entrance of the “Bush Canteen” Or directly opposite the Rosicrucian Temple in East Legon. NB: Signage : ‘Learning Organisation’

MODERATOR: Sydney Casely-Hayford (Financial Analyst & Anti Corruption Crusader)

CONVENOR: Franklin Cudjoe

PRELUDE: General Discussion about Ghana’s economy

RECEPTION: Pizzas and drinks from the best in town.


For seat reservation and payment, please call Mr. Aboagye Mintah on 0573087486 or 0302972939


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