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Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

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The GPRS and Multi Donor Budget Support (MDBS): Strengthening the Links of Accountability - the Role of Parliament

Source: World Bank

This report argues that the role of the Ghanaian Parliament in policy development in this era of globalization is limited thanks to the 1992 Constitution. Relations with multilateral institutions and indeed the formulation of international trade agreements that are later signed by the State remain largely the preserve of the Executive branch of government. International agencies prefer not to deal directly with Parliament but they have an almost unimpeded access to the Executive and the President. Though the Constitution grants so much power to the President of Ghana and his Executive for effective and decisive governance, the same privilege seems to make the Legislature play second fiddle. This state of affairs is less than satisfactory if we desire effective checks and balances to sustain our democracy. While it is true that the national interest can be better protected if the legislators and civil society as a whole take a second look at the disabling Articles in the constitution, it is also important to let the multilateral agencies and the international community know about the harm they are causing the governments and the peoples of the developing nations for not effectively involving their legislatures in the formulation of visions and programmes for those countries.

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