Former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani says he concurs with calls for Ghana to amend or expunge from the 1992 constitution the age limit for Ghanaians who wish to contest for the Presidency.
The former chief of staff is of the view that, the age limit has a potential of depriving some competent Ghanaians from contesting for the highest office of the land because they may not have attained the standard age of 40 years.
“Let’s find out why they decided on 40. Are the reasons valid? If in other places, people below 40 are able to offer themselves to be elected as Prime Ministers, Presidents and they do well, why can’t we do this in Ghana? Are we depriving ourselves? Maybe there are exceptional youth in the country who can become Presidents and maybe perform well. I really don’t fancy the idea of putting in this limit.” He spoke to Accra based Citi FM.
The former appointee continued that the ultimate decision as to who becomes the president of Ghana should be the sole responsibility of the electorates.
“…It will be left to Ghanaians to decide whether such a person is qualified to be a President or not… Why don’t we leave this to the electorate or we think the electorate is not fit enough to determine who is capable of being a President? I think we should leave it to the electorate,” he said.
His comment comes to buttress a remark made by former President John Mahama at Commonwealth Africa Summit in London that young people were still capable of acting as legislators in Parliament but were restricted from contesting for the Presidency.
“In my country, young people are in Parliament and contesting other positions but not the presidency. Our constitution says you must be 40 to contest to be president. Some advocacy has started for age restriction to be removed or reduced and I support it.” Former President John Mahama stated
In a related development, Sudanese-British billionaire businessman Mo Ibrahim has stated that the advanced age of African leaders is a contributing factor to problems in African.
Speaking in Kigali, Mo Ibrahim said, “this continent is continent of young people, look at the average age of our Presidents is about 63, 64 years old, we are the only continent in the world where we have Presidents at 90 years old starting new terms, we see people in wheelchairs unable to wave hands standing for elections”
He also referred to President Obama saying if he had returned to Kenya, considering his age he would be driving a bus instead of dreaming to become a President.