THE HYBRID CONSTITUTION AND ITS ATTENDANT DIFFICULTY

Topics: Prime minister, Separation of powers, Presidential system Pages: 3 (804 words) Published: April 22, 2015
THE HYBRID CONSTITUTION AND ITS ASSOCIATED DIFFICULTY- THE CASE OF PARLIAMENT  

Ghana adopted the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy when she gained her independence in 1957. Ghanaians practiced this system of government almost without any difficulty from 1957 to 1960 in the First Republic and 1969 to 1972 in the Second Republic. Under this system, a political party with majority parliamentary seats forms the government. Ministers are appointed from among Members of Parliament and there is also dual executive. For instance, Dr. Nkrumah was the Prime Minister and the Queen of England performed the ceremonial functions from 1957-1960.Dr. Busia was also the Prime Minister and Edward Akuffo was the president who performed ceremonial function under the 1969 Constitution.

The parliamentary democracy of 1957 had some challenges. Dr. Nkrumah used his majority in the legislature to pass Preventive Detention Act, 1958 that made it possible for the President to detain without trial for five years anybody who is deemed to have caused security threat to the nation.

The parliamentary system of the second Republic also experienced some challenges.   The Progress Party lost his potential Ministers in the Volta region as the party did not obtain Parliamentary seat in the Volta Region.

Ghanaians practiced the Presidential system of government under the Third Republican Constitution of 1979. This system was based on the American pattern with strict separation of powers between the executive and legislature. Unlike the parliamentary system Ministers of the presidential did not belong to the legislature. Thus if an MP is appointed by the President as a Minister, he/she must resign from the legislature.

There was a short fall in this system. Most of the government policies and programmes were not supported in the Assembly. A critical case in point was when the government budget was defeated for the first time in the history of the legislature. The budget...
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