Parliament not consulted on Council of State appointments – Speaker
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has stated that the legislature has not been consulted on the President’s appointment of members of the Council of State.
According to him, the House has also not received any communication, neither verbal nor written, formal or informal, from the Presidency on the appointment.
Speaker Bagbin made the observation following concerns raised by Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu of some publication in the social media by Mr Eugene Arhin, Communication Officer at the Office of the President purporting to announce the appointment of the Members of the Council of State in accordance with Article 89 of the 1992 Constitution.
Speaker Bagbin therefore directed that the concerns raised in the House be convey to the Office of the President for the proper thing to be done by consulting Parliament on the President’s nomination of the members for the Council of State.
He noted that there were obvious implications and effect of such, if disagreements arise as result of the non-consultation before the release of the names.
“It is proper that we do this consultation before we go public, that is the right thing to do and that is the letter and spirit of Article 89(2) (a),” he said.
Mr Iddrisu argued that Parliament should have been the first forum, where the announcement for the appointment of the new members of the Council of State should be made.
He said Article 89(2) of the Constitution does not only give the President the powers to appoint but must do so in consulting Parliament.
He said even though there is no formal communication from the President to Parliament, yet there is announcement in the air of the appointment of the members of the Council of State, saying as MPs they cannot just follow the announcement in the air.
Mr Iddrisu also charged officials at the Presidency to notify the Speaker to know the important decision the President is taking before they go to the media with such issues.
“The rush to go to the media, social media even to advertise and announce what is not formal itself is not helpful,” he added.
Mr Patrick Boamah, MP for Okaikoi Central in his contribution stated that Order 51 of the Standing Orders are clear on the communication from the Presidency to the Speaker and the legislature.
He said the Minority Leader raised issues with regards to Article 89, but there are three segments with that provision, which are relevant to his apprehension.
He argued that Article 89(2) deals with the category of persons that the President must appoint in consultation with the Speaker and the House.
He however stated that under Article 89(2)(d) the names that were released from the Presidency are not within the category of persons that the President must consult on.