Former head for the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Emile Short has described the Executive method of appointment of heads of independent constitutional institutions as flawed.
According to Mr. Short, the decision to appoint who heads the independent governance institutions should be transparent and inclusive. He said the present method whereby the President appoints who head these institutions is mostly done as a political favor and it engenders weak institutions.
“We should have a much better transparent and inclusive method of appointing the heads of these institutions particularly the independent constitutional bodies like the Electoral Commission, CHRAJ and the Auditor General. The present method of appointment, I think is flawed,” Mr. Emile Short said on GHOne TV’s flagship morning show GH Today.
He continued: “It doesn’t always guarantee that we have strong institutions. Sometimes appointments are made on the basis of political patronage before considering the competence of the person for the particular position. So we really need to take a second look at the way we make appointment to these governance institutions.”
The former CHRAJ boss said even though the President makes these appointments in line with discussions with the Council of State, the prerogative still remains the President’s own. According to him the seven members of the Council of State also get the nod from the President and therefore the Council’s contribution is really not effective in such matters.
“The present procedure for appointing heads of independent governance institutions is not the best. At the moment, it is vested in the President in consultation with the Council of State. The President appoints the seven members of the Council of State. The Council of State is not really that effective in terms of the inputs it makes into the appointment so in effect, it is an executive power. The power is vested in the President.”
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Mr. Emile Short stated that the method is not participatory and it is not consultative enough. He added that they have suggested that there should be a more inclusive and participatory method of appointing heads of institutions to ensure that the institutions are headed by independent-minded and competent people.