U.S-based Ghanaian economist Professor George Ayittey wants the Council of State expunged from the Constitution and the institution scrapped from the Ghanaian system.

Prof. Ayittey in an interview with Joy News’ Anny Osabutey argued that the Council of State has outlived its relevance. He also believes it is a duplication of parliament and therefore a drain on the state’s coffers.

“I think it has outlived its usefulness. It was [created] way back in 1992 when we had presidential elections that were alleged to be fraudulent and the NPP boycotted the parliamentary elections. So that resulted in a de-facto one-party state and parliament role is to provide oversight over the executive. Because it was a one-party state, Western donors insisted that some kind of body should be created to advise the president.”

He noted that the Council of State became irrelevant in 1996 when Ghana had a functioning parliament which could provide the kind of oversight being provided by the Council of State.

Though the Council of State is supposed to be partisan, Prof. Ayittey observed, “The Council of State is supposed to be 25 members and when 11 of them were appointed by the president, then that body ceases to be independent.”

But a member of the Council of State, Rev Amo Darko totally disagreed with Prof Ayittey.

He noted that the framers of the 1992 constitution looked beyond the economic kind of argument, espousing the usefulness of elders in the Ghanaian society.

“The Council of State is an elderly, eminent members of the society who have gone through life… We have a former IGP, a former army commander, a sitting president of house of chiefs, a former Chief Justice…who are imminent citizens of the nation and who have known life and therefore are able to counsel the president and ministers and other stakeholders who govern our nation.”

Rev Amo Darko stated that the Council and its importance were captured in the Constitution even before the boycott of parliament by the NPP in 1992.

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