Chairman of the Council of State Nana Otuo Siriboe has stated the arguments that the Council is a rubber stamp institution is deflated as President Akufo-Addo listened to its advice and reservations on all matters referred to it.
The usefulness of the Council has on a number of times called into question with some critics describing it as a rubber stamp of Executive decisions.
Outspoken Ghanaian professor, Stephen Kwaku Asare, in June last year argued Ghana does not require a Council of State per the current governance system being practiced in the country.
He said the Council of State was first created by the 1969 constitution as an advisory body at a time that Ghana’s governance system was “bicephalous” (two headed) executive.
Ghana at the time had a Prime Minister as the head of the government and the President who was the Head of State.
“A Council of State has no role or place in a monocephalous [solitary head] executive system where the President receives advice from his cabinet, cadre of ministers and team of advisors,” he said.
But the current Council which started work in February 2017 says that argument does not suffice in view of the fact that President Akufo-Addo heeded to its advice and reservations on matters it worked on.
Receiving the Council’s annual report for the year February 2017-February 2018, President Akufo-Addo lauded the members for whose support to his government for the past year, especially the expeditious way and thorough manner with which they dealt with the appointments of his nominees.
“This is indeed is a body that has come to work and not just to glory in its elevated status,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.
He also praised the comprehensive work it did regarding the nomination of the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson, her two Deputies and a member of the Commission.
He said he found the support of the Council of State “very valuable” adding that, it was refreshing the transparency with which it had been doing things.
He added that the idea of committing themselves to the production of an annual report was comforting to the people of Ghana.
The President made reference to the debate mooted by a former Council Member about transforming the Council of State into a second chamber of the legislative process, and said “I am a bit diagnostic on that matter and I would rather let be a subject of public discussion rather the president trying influence the debate”.
“But when we see the output that we are getting from this particular Council of State, it may be a way of stealing the debate for the time being and allowing the institution which had gone on so far to have even more legs for us to see what the future has to hold”.
Meanwhile, the Council of State has informed the President of its decision to go on recess and to resume work in October.
To ensure government business continued uninterrupted, Nana Otuo Siriboe said its’ Appointments and House Affairs Committees would be available to consider the request for examination of appointments forwarded to the Council by the Presidency during the recess.