Parliament begins Ministerial vetting today

ParliamentThe Appointments Committee of Parliament will Thursday start the vetting of ministerial nominees for appointments or otherwise to the various sector ministries and the regions.

At the last count, President John Dramani Mahama had made more than 35 ministerial nominations, some of whom are expected to work under the Presidency. All the nominations were released in batches.

However, of all the nominations, it is only the first batch of 12 ministerial nominees which has been referred to Appointments Committee by the Speaker, Mr Edward K. Doe Adjaho for consideration and report as required.

The first batch of six nominees who are expected to appear before the committee are Mr Seth Terkper, Finance and Economic Planning; Ms Hanna Tetteh, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Alhaji Collins Dauda, Water Resources, Works and Housing; Alhaji A. B. Inusah Fuseini, Lands and Natural Resources; Alhaji Sulemana, Roads and Highways and Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Food and Agriculture.

Article 78 (1) of the Constitution provides that nominees by the President for ministerial appointments have to be approved by Parliament before they can act or hold themselves out as ministers or deputy ministers of state.

Even though the Constitution does not provide the manner in which the House should give approval to the President’s nominees, the Standing Order of Parliament provides for the Appointments Committee composed of the First Deputy Speaker as chairman and not more than 25 other members.

Thus, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, the First Deputy Speaker, who is also the NDC MP for Cape Coast North will have his debut as chairman when the Appointments Committee begins the vetting of the ministerial nominees today.

Out of the 25 members of Appointment Committee, 14 are from the Majority side while 11 are members of the Minority side with the chairman excluded.

However, the Minority has made it clear that it’s members on the committee will boycott the sitting to vet the ministerial nominees because  of the petition which it’s flag bearer of the 2012 election, Nana Akufo-Addo and two others have filed at the Supreme Court.

The petition is challenging the Electoral Commission’s (EC) declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the 2012 presidential election.

As at the time of going to press, the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Dominic Nitiwul told the Daily Graphic that the NPP stood by its decision not to “participate in deliberations and decisions on matters which would evaporate upon the cessation of President Mahama’s administration” after the Supreme Court has come out with its verdict in favour of the NPP”.

If that happens, then it will be unfortunate since throughout the history of the vetting process during the Fourth Republic, it is the members from the Minority side who had always provided the bite and gone the extra mile to exact information from the nominees.

Through such diligence, it was detected that Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who was nominated for a ministerial appointment by ex-President J.J Rawlings was not a registered voter.

In a similar vein, the Appointments Committee during the former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s regime was able to detect that two ministerial nominees, Ms Vicky Bright and Mr Lawrence Akwasi Agyeman Prempeh had dual nationality.

The Majority is therefore expected to have a field day, even though some, of them will put the interest of the nation first to quiz the nominees thoroughly, if the NPP MPs do not change their decision not to participate in the vettings.

The  list of the President’s ministerial nominations are as follows:

Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Interior. Mr Mark Woyongo, Defence, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Trade and Industry, Mr Nayon Bilijo, Fishries and Aquaculture Development, Dr Seidu Daannaa, Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Communications, Ms Dzifa Attivor, Transport, Nana Oye Lithur, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mahama Ayariga, Information, Prof Jana Naana Opoku Agyeman, Education, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Energy and Petroleum.

Others are Mr Akwasi Oppong Fosu, Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Youth and Sports, Ms Sherry Ayittey, Health, Nii Armah Ashietey, Employment and Labour Relations, Dr Joseph Oteng-Adjei, Environment, Science and Technology, Mrs Marieta Appiah-Oppong, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice,  Dr Benjamin  Kunbuor, Government Business in Parliament and Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.

The Ministers of State at the Presidency with various designations are Alhaji  Abdul Rashid Pelpuo, Mr Alhassan Azong, Alhaji Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Mr Fifi Kwetey, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed and, Mrs Comfort Codjo Ghansah.

The following have also been nominated for appointments as regional ministers: Mr Samuel Sarpong, Ashanti, Mr Eric Opoku, Brong Ahafo, Mr E.K.T  Addo, Central, Mr Bede A. Ziedeng, Upper West, Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Greater Accra and Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Region.

Source: Daily Graphic

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