Ghanaâ€™s Parliament on Monday December 20, took a major decision that could force a Constitutional reform to allow citizens aged under-forty, to run as President.
The historic vote on the report of the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture, could pass as the biggest backing ever for the ongoing crusade for immediate reduction of the Constitutional age limit on the subject of who qualifies to run for the countryâ€™s highest office.
The House took the decision as it ratified the African Youth Charter, making Ghana the 39th Member State of the 53-member African Union to sign onto the document. Article 62 (B) requires that only above forty year olds could run for the office of the President.
But the vote by Ghanaâ€™s Legislature is expected to force a historic constitutional amendment to lower the ceiling.
Soon after the vote, the Minority Spokesperson on Youth, Sports and Culture Isaac Asiamah, told Citi News members want the age reduced to thirty five years.
â€œThe definition of Youth within the Charter is given between the ages of 15-35. So we must make sure that our Constitution respects the rights of the youth so that all privileges that are enjoyed by the elderly and other segments of the population are also enjoyed by the youthâ€ he appealed.
â€œOur Constitution must also be within the African Youth Charter especially the portions that have got to do with presidential elections. For instance our Constitution says one must be 40 years and above to contest as president and some of us believe that, that is anti youths considering the fact that the definition of youth within the Charter is between 15-35 years. One would expect that at least it is pegged at age 35 so that it takes care of the youths interest of the youth. We canâ€™t have the ultimate position of the land that has no youth role in itâ€ he lamented.
The Atwima Mponua MP implored the Constitutional Review Commission to consider the proposal.
Hon. Isaac Asiamah said some have also argued that once a citizen is eligible to vote from age eighteen, that individual should be able to run for the presidency. He however said that argument is a non-starter.
He explained that this could not be possible because rarely would a citizen at age eighteen attain the necessary skill and experience which he or she requires to run for the presidency.