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Constitution review: Presidents to pay tax
20 June 2012
The government has accepted the recommendation of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) that the tenure of the President should be maintained at four years.
According to an official source, the government White Paper on the CRC further endorsed the commission’s recommendation that Presidents of the Republic should pay tax on their salaries and emoluments.
That, it said, would set an example for the rest of the citizenry and also reflect the principle of equality before the law and be in accordance with the rule of law.
It said the government had also endorsed the recommendation that there should be a ceiling on the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.
According to the source, the government had also accepted the recommendation of the CRC that the time for conducting presidential and parliamentary elections should be coterminous and that the elections should not be held later than 60 days before the inauguration of the President and Parliament.
It told graphic.com.gh that over 90 per cent of the CRC’s recommendations had been accepted by the government and that President John Evans Atta Mills appended his signature to the report, which was then gazetted, before he left for the United States for his medical check-up last Saturday.
It said the report addressed top 100 governance issues in Ghana today.
By that, the President had satisfied the six-month constitutional requirement by which the White Paper should be made public.
The government also agreed with the recommendation for an Independent Emoluments Commission (IEC) that would determine the allowances, emoluments and ex gratia from the President to the lowest ranking public officer.
The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) and the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), according to the official source, were expected to form part of the institutional structure of the IEC to restore public confidence in the emoluments and working conditions because the current arrangement provided for politicians to determine those conditions.
Among the recommendations, it said the government had agreed that the Constitution should contain a mechanism for instituting and periodically adopting a comprehensive, long-term and strategic multi-year rolling national development plan.
After 20 years of operating the 1992 Constitution, President Mills set in motion the process to review its strengths and weaknesses to reflect the current demands of governance.
The CRC, constituted on January 11, 2010 by the President, was specifically tasked to listen to the people of Ghana, articulate their views in the form of recommendations, together with a draft bill, for the amendment of the Constitution, in the event that any changes were warranted.
It received 83,161 submissions.
A national constitution conference was held in April this year to deliberate on 12 thematic areas, including Executive and Legislative powers, the Judiciary and the legal sector and lands and natural resources.
In December 2011, the commission presented its final report to the President at the Castle, Osu.
The report consisted of 15 chapters, which detailed the processes employed by the CRC to consult with the people of Ghana on the operation for the Constitution, the summary of the submissions made by the people of Ghana and the state of the law on the issues raised by the submissions.
Source: Daily Graphic