1992 Constitution Framers Underestimated the Eroding Force of Partisan Politics, Says Prof. Abotsi

Professor Ernest Kofi Abotsi, the Dean of the School of Law at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), has expressed his concern over the detrimental influence of partisan politics on Ghana’s constitutional system. He suggests that the framers of the 1992 constitution may have underestimated the corrosive power of partisan politics to exploit, misuse, and subvert the constitution for their narrow interests.

Speaking on JoyFM’s Super Morning Show, Prof. Abotsi pointed out that the constitutional provisions related to political parties, starting from Article 55, seemed to assume that political parties forming governments would inherently act in the best interests of Ghanaians. However, he argued that the framers had neglected the historical context of political parties in Ghana and underestimated their potential negative impact on governance and its structures.

According to Prof. Abotsi, the historical dynamics of Ghana’s political parties, which can be traced back to the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), continue to influence political relationships in the country. He observed a recurring pattern of parties creating divisions, where each party in power asserts its dominance, leading to an “us versus them” mentality. This cycle perpetuates sectionalism, with each party’s members enjoying their turn in power.

Despite recent calls for constitutional reforms, Prof. Abotsi believes that these reforms will eventually encounter the same challenges that the current constitution faces. He emphasized that no constitution is flawless and that human ingenuity can always find ways to circumvent even the most well-crafted designs.

In his view, the fundamental issue lies not with the constitution itself but with the inherent challenges of partisan politics, which, he contends, can only be partially addressed through constitutional reform.

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