Cdd-Ghana statement on Media Coverage of findings of a popular opinion survey conducted on the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana
Last Monday, CDD-Ghana released the findings of two surveys on the 1992 Constitution of Ghana. The surveys covered a broad range of constitutional and governance issues, and provided many interesting and insightful revelations about the attitude of Ghanaians on the workings of various aspects of the Constitution, including the powers of the executive and the effectiveness of our legislature, local government and the judiciary, among other issues.
Unfortunately, the focus of most of the media coverage on this survey has been on the transitional provisions out of the over 30 separate findings of the survey. Admittedly, the issues around the transitional provisions are important to Ghanaians and the fact that the survey findings on the transitional provisions have generated such public interest is not unexpected. A scientific study such as this is a useful gauge of the trend of public opinion. It also helps one to measure the level of public and civic education that must be undertaken to ensure the best possible outcome from this national exercise.
The survey findings on transitional provisions, however, reveal that this is a deeply divisive issue. When the results of the survey are analyzed by region, for example, significant variations exist among various regions as to whether they should be abolished or maintained. This is not the case for most of the survey findings, which generally showed significant levels of uniformity across various regions. For this reason alone, CDD-Ghana strongly believes that Ghanaians should be careful not to allow this important constitutional review process to be overwhelmed by this single issue. Indeed, despite the presence of the transitional provisions in our Constitution over the last 17 years, Ghana continues to make great strides as a democratic nation. Also, through the National Reconciliation Process some of the public anguish on these issues have been allayed though significant steps remain to be taken to complete the healing process.
Going forward, we encourage the general public to continue to engage the constitutional review process and express their views. We also entreat the Media to focus attention on reforms and amendments that seek to make Ghana a better governed and prosperous country for now and generations to come. For this to happen, the Constitutional Review Process should be About the Present and Future, Not The Past.