Communications Minister Haruna Iddrisu has supported proposals for a Constitutional provision that will mandate the president to answer questions under oath in Parliament.

Mr Iddrisu said the proposal, submitted to the Constitution Review Commission Tuesday by journalist, Paul Adom OKyere, will further foster transparency and deepen political accountability in the governance of the country.

He argued that the current situation where the president chooses when to talk and what to talk about was not promoting accountability on the part of the president who has been clothed with a lot of power by the Constitution.

“My concern is that …the electorate never get to know – and are left merely to guess – what the president’s views are on critical issues and that has been the history of our 16 years of constitutional development. My fear is that if that continues, the electorate just have to guess, the media have to guess, the legislators have to guess, civil society must guess, we all do guess work on what the president is thinking about on critical national matters,” Mr Adom Okyere said.

He rejected suggestions from some Commission members that the Question Time for ministers – who are representatives of the president – in parliament could answer questions from Members of Parliament on behalf of the president.

Quoting from Article 58 of the Constitution, Mr Adom Okyere said “My reading of Article 58 suggest to me that in exercise of executive authority, the president does not share with anybody and all ministers serve at the behest of the president. What it means is that whereas we have ministers’ question time before Parliament, a minister may appear and parry a question by saying that it is the decision of the president and that is where the matter ends because one cannot hold the minister accountable to the actions of a president.”

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