Ghanaian leader, Lieutenant-General Fred Akutto, opened a Constituent Assembly in Accra, December the 21st. It?
GV Parliament House in Accra, Ghana.
SV Judges in robes entering Parliament House. (2 SHOTS)
SV Arrival of Head of State, General Fred Akuffo, getting out of car and saluting personnel meeting him.
SV General Akuffo and military personnel walking towards troops for inspection.
SV General Akuffo inspects guard of honour.
GV Flags flying.
SV & GV INTERIOR General Akuffo addressing Constituent Assembly.
SV Assembly members listening. (3 SHOTS)
GV & SV General Akuffo continues address as delegates, military personnel and members of the Assembly listen. (7 SHOTS)
GV PAN Members applauding speech.
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Background: Ghanaian leader, Lieutenant-General Fred Akutto, opened a Constituent Assembly in Accra, December the 21st. It will draft a constitution to prepare the country for parliamentary democracy by July next year. The assembly will pave the way for returning Ghana to civilian rule after seven years of military government.
SYNOPSIS: Parliamentary House in Accra, where the one hundred and twenty members of the Constituent Assembly will debate Ghana's new constitution. Justice V.C. Crabbe is Chairman of the Assembly, which is made up of members elected by district councils, the Supreme Military Council, trade unions and employers' associations. Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo seized power in July last year when the previous military ruler, General Ignatius Acheampong, was forced to step down. General Acheampong, who himself seized power in 1972, banned political parties. General Akuffo has announced that free elections will be held next July (1979).
According to the London Financial Times, there has, in recent months, been a running battle between the military and a large professional elite about whether political parties should be allowed in the new civilian government. General Akuffo has proposed a "no-party" government for four years until Ghana can emerge form its economic distress. Ghana's inflation rate is around one and fifty percent a year, and the country has been disrupted since last May by a series of strikes and lockouts.
Addressing the Constituent Assembly, General Akuffo said that, now the decision had been taken to allow political parties, the constitution would have to be strong enough to allow the executive to govern effectively. While he said, the new constitution might contain the essentials for good government, Ghana's stability could be shaken by economic chaos. And therefore, he said political parties would have to come together in parliament to present a national front. The Assembly will discuss a proposal that Ghana's new president should be elected by universal suffrage. He would be able to delay legislation approved by parliament, but not veto it.