Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has said that the appointment committee of parliament has no power to disqualify any ministerial nominee.
His comments follow the decision by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers on the appointment committee to reject three of President Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominees.
They are Information Minister designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Fisheries and Aqua Culture minister designate Mavis Hawa Koomson and the Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
The NDC MPs said they were not convinced by the answers these nominees gave during their vetting.
They accused Mr Oppong Nkrumah who is Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi of being untruthful with his answers.
Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu who is also the nominee for Parliamentary Affairs said “The Committee doesn’t have power to disqualify anybody. That authority is vested in the plenary so that is where the authority lies”.
“I understand that some issues have been raised about some of the nominees. Five of them I am told , they are asking them to submit further and better particulars on some responses they gave, so, that will not be a rejection”. He said
He explained that “In the case of three others they are saying that they may find it difficult to approve of them, saying that you find it difficult to approve of them should not be reduced to personal consideration”.
“It should be grounded in law. What does the law say? The law, about ministers of state is predicated on the provision of Article 78 which provides that the President shall appoint ministers of state.” He stated
The MP for Suame added “The qualification criteria which says that a minister shall otherwise qualify to be a member of parliament is set out in Article 94. So that so what you should aspire to confirm or reject”.
“Unfortunately, in Ghana the focus of the vetting is not soo much on the technical competence of a person for a particular ministry. Given that the president has the power to reshuffle person that they nominate without the person who have been vetted having to come back to parliament to resubmit themselves.” He added
He further revealed that “I have indicated to my colleagues that when a person is nominated for the Ministry of Finance and maybe the following day the president shifts him to environment or to health,, will he submit it himself to parliament again? Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in our part of the world. So because of that we normally related with the general qualification.”