September 11, 2013

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has suggested the addition of a second Chamber to Parliament as exists in the UK and other countries.

Speaking to journalists after a lecture by former South African President F. W. de Clerk in Accra, Mr. Kufuor said a second Chamber which is made up of equal representation of regions and major identifiable groups will be ideal for the country’s development.

“I believe in a second Chamber which is made up of equal representation of regions and also plus major identifiable groups; say religious groups, traditional authority…of course the constitution should be arranged is such a way that the House of the people, that is the lower House will not will not be given a free reign too easily to impose the majority rule.”

He continued saying, “the second Chamber will help to modulate the decision of the lower House, by and by, you would get the inclusiveness.”

The ex-President expressed his displeasure about the idea of “Ministers sitting in Parliament. If you are a Minister, you are the executive, stay one side…Pay the Parliamentarians well so they don’t go begging for Ministers to compromise the oversight authority of the House to ensure the Executive is doing the right thing.”

He noted that if these suggestions are considered, although it may have drawbacks, “it is very useful. It tends to give voice to the voiceless in many ways.”

Mr. Kufuor’s suggestion was an addition to proposals made by F.W de Klerk for the devolution of power to the local government level through regional governments in African countries when he delivered a post-election petition verdict lecture on “Fostering peace, national cohesion and reconciliation.”