The Tragedy of Ghana’s 1992 Constitution 

MY fellow Ghanaians, the 1992 Constitution that ushered Ghana into the fourth republic, was drawn by the PROVISIONAL NATIONAL DEFENCE COUNCIL (PNDC) after pressure mounted on them locally and all over the world, to hand over power to a constitutionally elected government. Ironically, Civil society groups including the Ghana Bar Association refused participation in the draft constituent assembly. 

Their refusal to participate gave the PNDC, a blanket opportunity to toy with the lives and destiny of the people of Ghana. Many clauses within the constitution are unambiguously clear to the assumptions of many that Rawlings the Chairman of the PNDC had engineered for a constitution that would make him a Life President of Ghana. Rawlings knew he was going to win the Presidency in an election that was going to be organized under his watch, having all the state security apparatus under his Revolutionary Council and total control. 

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The 1992 Constitution, in my view, must be seen as a dictatorial document; the fact that,  

  1. It was drawn and promulgated under a Military dictatorship regime, obviously without Civil Society participation. 
  1. The fact that all powers to appoint over 6,000 people to executive positions are done by one person – the President, without merit but merely giving positions to Political cronies. Such appointees, almost always owe allegiance to the President and not to the Country. 

A typical example is a dilemma on our hands, where the Country has for the last eight years, had the credibility of our electoral process challenged in court because Chairpersons and members of the Electoral Commission (EC) are appointed by Presidents.  

There is every evidence written on the walls demanding a comprehensive amendment of the 1992 Constitution to reflect today’s realities after 28 years of experimentation, and proven to be out of touch with the realities of modern civilization 

Two years ago, the man who was the brain behind the dictatorial document at his June 4 anniversary rally at Nungua stated clearly that the constitution needs a review after 27 years of its promulgation. That statement was a clear admission by JJ Rawlings, flaws that need redress. The fundamental problems of Ghana are the results of the missing ingredients within the 1992 constitution on Socio-Economic and Democratic aspirations.  

Our Lawmakers have the responsibility to affect the needed reforms but are not making any effort because they realize the spirit and letter within the document favor them and all those who enjoy remuneration under Article 71 of the constitution at the disadvantage of the development of the Nation.   

My fellow Ghanaians, Rawlings is gone forever. He rose from nowhere with his slogan of Probity and Accountability in his quest to fight corruption in Ghana. Are we better off today fighting corruption with the 1992 constitution in the last 28years? If the answer is no!! We must collectively impress on parliament to live up to the expectations of the people of Ghana and not be swayed by selfish interests. It must be seen that the 1992 constitution is gradually grounding Ghana into a failed state. 

By Samuel Ofori Ampofo 

The writer is a local president of Ghana Leadership Union (GLU) – a political and social think thank group. He is also the Founding President of the National Crusaders Alliance (NCA) 


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