A former Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has voiced his concerns about what he perceives as the ineffectiveness of the Council of State.

He likened the Council’s current state to that of an “anorexic institution without power” and emphasised that despite having the authority to advise every public institution in Ghana, its current operations make it seem powerless.

Dr. Afari-Gyan, drawing from his experience at the EC, highlighted that the Council of State receives briefings from public institutions and provides them with advice.

However, he expressed the need for the Council to adopt a more transparent approach to showcase its impact.

“We will all agree that the Council of State has an imposing name, but the way it has so far gone about its work has made it look like an anorexic institution without power, yet apart from the president, the Council has power to advise every public institution in Ghana,” Dr. Afari-Gyan stated.

He suggested that the Council should periodically release reports detailing the advice it has given to various institutions, allowing the public to assess its impact.

Dr. Afari-Gyan also emphasised the importance of clarifying the distinction between the president’s appointments made in consultation with the Council and those made on the advice of the Council.

“In the Council’s relationship with the president, there is one thing in particular that requires clarification. The president appoints some people in consultation with the Council and some on the advice of the Council. What is the difference?

“Some lawyers say there is no difference at all, and that the president can do as he pleases in both instances. But others say that unlike consultation and the case of advice, the president cannot appoint unless he is so advised,” Dr. Afari-Gyan explained.

He concluded by urging that any amendment to the constitution should explicitly state whether the president can ignore the advice of the Council, providing clarity to this aspect of their relationship.

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