…President Donald J. Trump USA Trials Show Against Looming Clouds Over Ghana 2024 Elections
Author: Magnus Naabe RexDanquah
Over the last how many weeks and months, I have been fascinated by the number of legal cases confronting the former United States President Donald J. Trump, especially at the attitudes of the diverse judges, both male and female, first-class, native American and or second-class citizenship of migrant parentage towards the cases before them.
Never missing each episode of the new DJ Trump TV Show, not the ‘Apprentice’, I have come to appreciate in true terms, what ‘DEMOCRACY’ really means – everybody is equal before the law as it is a system of government by the whole population, usually through elected representatives as Members of Parliament (MPs) in our case; and where the entire population is governed by democratic principles; a classless and tolerant form of society; or a system, in which policy is decided centrally and is binding on all, the entire population or citizenry.
I have grown up, over the last sixty-plus years, to appreciate the fact that simply put ‘Democracy’ has different meanings and limitations depending on who is in absolute charge of the administration, management and provision of services and amenities of the people and the nation, not so much as to the security, which relates to the physical boundaries and national security.
So, I can understand all the happenings around Donald Trump, his family and his time as the President of the USA: Trump hired his son-in-law Jared Kushner as a senior White House advisor, which, only a few months later, was followed by the President giving a similar role to his daughter, Ivanka Trump. These appointments were troublesome for several reasons and clearly an issue of petty corruption.
Though, both Kushner and Ivanka waived their White House salaries, they profited from their roles in the administration and expanded the Trump family’s use of the presidency as a for-profit operation, these were clear displays of nepotism by public officials and same regarded as illegal – a law that technically applied to the president as well, but which Trump managed to find loopholes. BOSTONGLOBE
While serving in the Trump White House, Ivanka and Kushner did indeed leverage their positions to bolster their profits. Like Trump, neither of them had fully divested from their businesses, and Kushner sold his stake in one of his businesses only after it directly benefitted from the tax bill that his father-in-law signed into law. Kushner’s family’s real estate company came under scrutiny on several occasions because his family members appeared to lean on their relationship with the administration.
At one business event in Beijing, Kushner’s sister promoted an EB-5 visa program – which grants immigrants a path to citizenship if they invest substantially in a company that creates jobs in the USA – an essentially implied that her relationship with her brother helped to expedite a pathway to citizenship for investors in a Kushner-owned property before the visa program rule was set to change the minimum investment from USD$500,000.00 to USD$900,000.00. And Kushner’s family company had business dealings in Israel even as one of his chief responsibilities included Middle East policy. BOSTONGLOBE
I remember after his winning the 1960 presidential election, then president-elect John F. Kennedy (JFK) appointed his 35-year-old younger brother, Robert Francis Kennedy (RFK) as the 64th US Attorney General. The choice was controversial, with publications including The New York Times and The New Republic calling him inexperienced and unqualified, in addition to claims of nepotism. There were questions as to the motive; as to whether the appointment was to keep J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director under control.
Even though, both JFK and RFK were against the latter’s appointment as the Attorney General but their father, Joe Kennedy insisted, and since it had been their father’s money that got President Kennedy elected, both sons consented. You know, their father, old Joe Kennedy had made a pact with the MAFIA to get his son elected, not to have the government go after them. This was why RFK needed to be the Attorney General to leave the mob alone. You see, it had been the old man’s money that got President Kennedy elected. BOSTONGLOBE
JFK also appointed his brother-in-law as the Peace Corps’ first Director. Given that nepotism is an easy opportunity for public officials to turn their public offices into a money-making enterprise.
However, laws were later written to avoid having family relatives as Cabinet members.
In Ghana, it is important for us as a nation and as a people to crack down on this corruption at every level of government. After all, nepotism is an act of self-enrichment in and of itself and a quintessential example of petty corruption that undoubtedly sows distrust in government.
Filling up key government posts with close relatives of the president, for example, will probably result in a staff that’s more loyal to the president that they are to government institutions, or even to democracy itself. Nepotism is also unlikely to produce the most competent government. BOSTONGLOBE
In order to eradicate nepotism from government, an example must be set from the very top, which is why our Parliament should ensure that anti-nepotism laws apply to the president, his vice president, their Ministers and Deputy Ministers as well as all public officers (party faithfuls or family members) who derive their appointments from the Presidency.
Again, in order to ensure that any degree of corruption does not take place, Ghana’s Parliament should pass a bill to make it explicit that neither the President, his Ministers nor his appointees can appoint a relative to any official government post, even if they will forgo a salary; whilst their political party should also ensure this is religiously adhered to.
Furthermore, in the event that a president’s relative, like Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, is widely perceived to be the best qualified for a certain role, that appointment should require a waiver from Parliament so that the candidate can be evaluated on their merits. Appointments of family members should be the exception, not the norm.
The anti-nepotism law should have stricter penalties, including job termination if the appointment is proved to have been made on the grounds of an employee’s relationship to the president or minister or any appointing politician rather than their qualifications.
Considering what has happened to President Akufo-Addo’s administration of ‘family and friends’, the extent of nepotism, the endemic nature of the corruption, the semblances of ‘monarchy’ tendencies, it will be more than important for our Parliament to ensure that no future president will follow their examples. Because if nepotism is not seriously addressed, then Akufo-Addo’s presidency would only serve as a blueprint for other corrupt business families to run for office to expand their wealth in the future.
You see, NEPOTISM IS A DEFINING CHARACTERISTIC OF MONARCHIES (or Family & Friends System of Governance) – a system of government, the framers of our constitution specifically desired to curb, especially with their antecedents from the revolutions of June 4th and December 31st.
It is about time that Ghana’s Parliament stops any future president from acting or pretending to be a MONARCHY, acting as a ‘KING’, carrying his ‘Stool of Office’ everywhere he sets his feet (even in a TV or radio studio for interviews), whilst a specially designed Toyota Landcruiser is assigned to ferry it everywhere ‘King President’ is invited to except on foreign trips.
Ghanaian politicians should be mindful of the consequences of another show of semblances of monarchy lifestyles associated with the office of the President, knowing that it was the violences of past elections that domesticated the people into silences to accept the excesses of the NPP governance over the past seven (7) years, including the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election as well as the Ejura violences.
Considering the economic hardships of the same period, it will be prudent that same is not visited on the people post-coming-elections, especially as political parties are advised to be measured in the promises they make: remember – ‘ONE VILLAGE, ONE DAM’, ‘ONE CONSTITUENCY, ONE MILLION US DOLLARS’, ‘ONE DISTRICT, ONE HOSPITAL’, and ‘ONE REGION, ONE UNIVERSITY’.
Over the past how many months, the world has watched in awe as the former President Donald J Trump has been charged in four criminal cases. In Washington, DC., he faces four felony counts for his efforts to overturn the 2020 US elections, whilst in Georgia, he faces 13 felony counts for his election interference in that state. There is also the hoarding of classified documents case and then the Hush Money case.
It is said that for the first 234 years of the USA’s history, no American president or former president had ever been indicted: this changed this year, when je has been charged severally, so the talk has started with the call for Ghana’s indemnity clause to be discussed extensively by the people’s Parliament for an amendment so that our Presidents will be held more accountable to the people for the excesses, we have witnessed in the last how many years?
We need to, speedily, look at the Chapter Eight (8), titled ‘The Executive’ of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, under the sub-heading ‘The President of Ghana’, clause 57 (6) and have same expunged so that whoever the President is, he shall, like former President Donald Trump, face all charges to be levelled against him or her. This way, the sense of responsibility, accountability and the knowledge that he or she could be hauled before the courts of the land to answer for all or any infringes caused whilst in office.
Need I say more: CHANGE IS GONNA COME…
By Magnus Naabe RexDanquah, ‘The Ghanaian’