Ghana: Review Presidential Age Limit-CSO

Bolgatanga — A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the Upper East Region have advocated the review of the constitutional age limit for contesting the presidency from the current 40 years to 35 or 30, to pave way for many youths to also contest.

It has, therefore, called on the government to initiate steps for Parliament to review the constitutional age limit to ensure an all-inclusive government.

The CSOs made the call in a communiqué issued and signed by the Spokesperson of the coalition, Mr Emmanuel Anafo in Bolgatanga on Friday after capacity training programme on the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

The programme on the theme, 'Mobilising civil society support for the implementation of the African Governance Architecture' was organised by Action Aid Ghana (AAG), a non-profit organisation with funding support from the European Commission (EU).

Whilst also calling on the government to institute measures that would create the platform for all the ministers to be appointed outside Parliament, the coalition of the CSOs further advocated a review of Article 78 of the constitution to allow for the appointments of people who are not Members of Parliament, to create a clear path of separation of powers between the legislature and the executive as well as ensure accountability and transparency in the governance system.

The group stressed that the review of the current system would promote all inclusive governance, deepen democracy and ensure sustainable national development and improvement in lives of the people.

While applauding the government for adopting and ratifying the Charter and having some of the charter's principles already enshrined in its policies and programmes, there was the need for government to strengthen the visibility of Ghana's commitment to ACDEG on the African stage by submitting to the African Union (AU), the country's biennial report as required by the charter.

It called on the government to intensify its fight against bribery and corruption as demanded by the Charter, through resourcing and strengthening government institutions such as National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to carry out their mandates as required by law in furtherance of the rule of law and democracy.

The Programmes Manager in charge of Democratic Governance at Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiDAF), Mr Frank Wilson Bodza, backed the CSOs call and indicated that it would help promote youth participation and inclusive democratic governance.

He also recommended that the appointments of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives and other higher levels of decision making should involve more youths, PWDs and women, adding that this would ensure the citizenry participated in governance.

The Programmes Officer of Action Aid Ghana, Mr Yakubu Akuka, stated that the programme was to build the capacities of the CSOs to effectively advocate the implementation of the ACDEG.

He, therefore, impressed upon the CSOs to map out vigorous sensitisation programmes on the subject matter so as to empower the citizenry to help promote and deepen participation in governance.

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