A former member of the Council of State, Togbe Afede, has said the body must be reformed to reduce the number of presidential appointments, despite the useful purpose it serves.

He argues that the Council has been overly messed up by its composition, a situation he noted has affected its independence and neutrality.

In an exclusive interview with JoyNews, the former President of the National House of Chiefs said the members of the Council appear to be endorsing anything that comes to them because they are appointed by the President.

“Council of State is a nice proposition that has been messed up by the composition. If it can be made to meet the expectation of the framers of our Constitution, it can be a good addition to the various organs and institutions of state.

“But the composition of the Council, the number of members that are appointed by the President leaves a lot to be desired. You want a Council that is strong, that is independent in thought and in action, and that can give right advice to those who need that advice as opposed to nearly endorsing what comes before them,” he told JoyNews’ Maxwell Agbagba.

His comment comes after a governance analyst, Prof Baffuor Agyeman-Duah earlier called for the scrap of the Council, saying the advisory role it plays is somewhat redundant.

According to the former Senior United Nations Governance Advisor, the fact that Presidents appoint special advisors to advise them on various issues make the work of the Council of State less relevant.

“What is the real mandate of the Council? In essence, to provide advice to the President; and as the Constitution requires, certain nominees of the President should go to the Council for ratification, so to speak. These are the two key functions.

“Take the advice, a President of this Republic can invite anybody out of the 33 million people we have for advice. So, having a body constituted with a whole bureaucracy and secretariat maintained over years just to provide you advice, I’m kind of curious about that.”

But Togbe Afede holds a contrary view. He believes reforming how the Council is composed could be more beneficial than a total scrap.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.