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Today, January 7 2018,marks the 25th anniversary of Ghana’s Fourth Republic. The Ghana Center for Democratic
Development (CDD-Ghana) CDD-Ghana joins fellow Ghanaians in marking this historic milestone. We applaud
successive administrations and political actors, including the various political parties, and indeed, the entire
Ghanaian citizenry for keeping faith with the 1992 Constitution, which ushered in the 4th Republic and has
undergirded our democratic governance system and practices in the last quarter of a century.
CDD-Ghana notes with great pride and overall satisfaction the successful conclusion of seven multi-party
presidential and parliamentary elections, producing three electoral turnovers in this Republic. We are also happy
with the prevalence of peace and unity in the country as well as the growing levels of economic and social
development, broadly speaking.
The Center continues to note with dismay, however, that governmental accountability and responsiveness have
remained highly insufficient (despite delivery of considerable voice to citizenry under the 4th Republic); public
corruption remains pervasive; progress of the constitutionally-mandated political, administrative and fiscal
decentralization has stalled; the economy remains characterized by jobless growth; income and spatial inequality
are on the rise in spite of poverty reduction; and the nation’s two main political parties which have alternated in
power in the 4th Republic have increasingly taken on the features of rival cults (whose primary purpose seemingly
is to win elections, achieve “state capture” and practice “winner-takes-all” politics).
We are particularly concerned about the failure on the part of successive governments and majority parties to
address the well-known gaps and deficiencies in the 1992 Constitution such as overconcentration of legal and
constitutional power in hands of the executive branch in general (especially the presidency), and indirectly, the
governing political party.
While we deservingly celebrate our longest running constitutional order since independence, we must also pause
to reflect on the things we must do to consolidate and deepen the gains made possible by the 4th Republican
Constitution. The list is long, but we can start by passing the 17-year old Right to Information Bill and reforming the
public office-holder asset disclosure regime to promote governmental transparency and accountability as well as
curb corruption in the public sector. In the medium to long term, we must amend the law and constitution to
strengthen Parliament’s ability to oversight the executive (in order to promote effective checks and balances); inject
meritocratic selection and fiduciary accountability into the governance of the state corporate sector; and allow for
popular election of district mayors to promote local government decentralization and effectiveness.
These types of reforms are some of the changes needed for the country to achieve this administration’s grand goal of a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’.
Long Live the 4th Republic
Long Live Ghana!
God bless Ghana!