Djokoto Diaries: Review the Presidential age-limit
Ghana's voting-class would queue up once more in December, 2020 to mandate a President to form the next government for the Republic of Ghana. Ghanaians must make an important decision, before the upcoming elections, on whether to maintain the political establishment as it is, or whether to support an alternative political movement and back a new frontier of leadership.
There is a lot at stake for the future of the Republic; the quality of life and socioeconomic rights of the citizenry, as well as a strong and vibrant economy capable of sustaining households and enterprises.
Today, 58.9% of Ghanaians, representing approximately 17,443,201 people, are aged between less than 1 and 39 according to the population and housing consensus. However, Chapter 8, Article 62 (b) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, states that a person shall not be qualified for election as the President of Ghana unless he/she has attained the age of forty years.
This excludes, perhaps, the most important demographic group within the Ghanaian society from contesting the highest political office of the Republic. Consequently, there would be no significant representation of the Ghanaian youth at the polls in December, 2020. The wider generational aspirations of young people in Ghana would, therefore, be thwarted.
However, the teeming youth of Ghana are craving a new style of politics, or better put, nation-building. I prefer the term nation-building because the task is, by and large, the architecture of the Republic on the basis of a sociocultural renaissance.
The youth of Ghana are the craftsmen that must be the foremost builders of a modern Ghanaian society. But Ghana must have faith and give the new frontier of leadership an opportunity at statecraft. There is a sense of optimism, euphoria and a renewed spirit for nation building that comes with a modern political order that can be both refreshing and inspiring. It could be just the spark that Ghana so desperately needs.
There is also a large section of the youth, who were formerly staunch partisans of either the NDC or NPP, but having been consistently failed by both governments, are no longer interested in deciding between the lesser of two evils. The Ghanaian has grown more conscious of the power of our vote. This is because there has been a never-ending pattern of politicians taking electorates for granted and reneging on their obligation to the people of Ghana.
All indications point towards a high probability of voter apathy in the upcoming 2020 elections. But those voters could be inspired to participate in the elections if there is an alternative political organisation capable of administering the Republic. It is popular opinion that most first-time voters do not identify with the core values of the political establishment, and that there is sufficient demand for an organised, well-resourced and credible alternative political organisation to support in 2020.
A constitutional amendment of the Presidential age-limit has the potential to be one of the biggest steps in the political advancement ever taken by the citizens of this Republic. The amendment would also offer a fresh framework for national government. I have no doubt that an unprecedented young and vibrant group of statesmen would rise to the status of national figures. This is a serious matter to be considered before the House of Parliament.
I propose a new Presidential term limit of 25. The age-limit is open for debate and the government must necessarily solicit the views of the people regarding this prospective constitutional amendment. I’d also like to call on all well-meaning Ghanaian citizens to support the call for this constitutional amendment.