Virtual Kollage: Functions and powers of the National Assembly under the 1960 Republican constitution of Ghana

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Functions and powers of the National Assembly under the 1960 Republican constitution of Ghana

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THE FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY UNDER THE 1960 REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION OF GHANA
Introduction
The 1960 Republican constitution of Ghana made provisions for the establishment of a National Assembly to be constituted by 104 members elected directly by the people from each of the constituencies of the nation. The president, as Head of State, was also a member of the National Assembly, presided over by a Speaker.

FUNCTIONS AND POWERS
Enact laws
One of the primary functions of the National Assembly under the 1960 republican constitution of Ghana was to enact laws for the state. As one of the three organs of government, it was entrusted with this duty so as to ensure the smooth governance of the country.

Pass annual budget
Another function of the National Assembly was to discuss the annual budget that is presented to it by the executive arm of the state. Only the National Assembly could pass the annual budget into law. This duty is to enable the executive to raise funds through taxes and other means to run the government and to develop the country.

Electoral functions
Also, it was the function of the National Assembly to constitute itself into an electoral college and elect the president into office. However, this was to happen only after the first president was no longer there.

Venue for discussing national issues
Again, the National Assembly served a place where issues of national importance could be discussed. The parliamentarians could bring before the floor of the parliament any issue that they deemed to be of national importance and same could be discussed in the interest of the entire nation.

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Determine salaries
It was also the function of the National Assembly to determine the salaries and allowances of certain categories of public officials. Some of the public officials whose salaries could be determined by the National Assembly included the president, judges of the superior courts and the Auditor-General.

The link between the government and the electorate
The National Assembly also served as a link between the government of the day and the masses of the people. This is because the parliamentarians listen to the grievances of their constituents and when appropriate; bring such issues before the Assembly. Then also, they carry any important messages and explanations from the government to the people.

Raise armed forces
It was only under the authority of the National Assembly that armed forces could be raised for the country. In other words, the Republican constitution was given the responsibility to raise an armed force to the National Assembly.

Power to amend the constitution
The National Assembly was also granted the power to amend certain aspects of the 1960 constitution. However, it only exercised this power on behalf of the people as an amendment had to be approved by the people in a national referendum before it could come into effect.

SAMPLE QUESTION(S)
1. Explain six functions of the National Assembly under the 1960 Republican constitution of Ghana.

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