The outcome of proceedings in Ghana’s parliament on Friday, March 24, 2023, has sent shockwaves through the minority side of the house due to the circumstance of the defeat they suffered in the approval of six ministerial nominees.
Beyond a clear directive from their National Democratic Congress (NDC) to reject the six nominees, members of the caucus had been clear in their position against the approval of the nominees.
The minority, during the debate by the House on the report of the Appointments Committee on the vetting of the nominees, remained adamant about their concerns on the size of the government and the need for a reduction.
However, when the decision of approval for the nominees was put to a secret vote, the minority despite their position on the matter and their equal numbers (136 apiece) with the majority side; they lost the vote decisively.
In all six cases, the statistics showed that a number of the minority MPs broke ranks with the caucus and added up to the votes of the majority to attain the required more than half votes for approval.
‘Following the declaration of the result, some members of the minority caucus have shared their thoughts about the development.
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa threaded the road of philosophy by Ouida to express the pain he feels as a result of the outcome of the tense vote.
“There is no knife that cuts so sharply and with such poisoned blade as treachery,” the quote shared via his Facebook handle read.
In the same vein, the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central Alhassan Suhuyini expressed bitterness about the betrayal by some members of the caucus.
With a quote that spoke about the relationship between beauty and ugliness and between devils and angels, he philosophically stressed the pain that he felt due to the outcome of the voting.
The quote read: “I’VE SEEN BEAUTY IN PEOPLE CALLED UGLY AND SEEN THE DEVIL. IN THE MOST ANGELIC FACE. BUT I’M IN A SOCIETY THAT AVOID DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS.”
On his part, the Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak Abass attributed the defeat suffered by the caucus to greed and disloyalty on the part of the yet-to-be known MPs who broke rank.
“Approval of Ministers – Most devastating and disappointing outcome. Greed and treachery is our bane. Yet again we have failed to live up to expectations. The traitors will surely be exposed by their collaborators in no time,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Wa Central Member of Parliament, Dr Raship Pelpuo also expressed his disappointment about the outcome of the balloting process via a Facebook post.
Despite his disappointment, the MP urged members of the party to keep their sights on the pursuit for power in 2024.
“Never been so terribly disappointed! But the object of this vote was not only to win but to demonstrate our non cooperation. We won that. The bandwagon to the big verdict moves on to 2024. The bad economy and bad governance will still be the subject. Those who willfully transgress the common cause will and must repent. The will to win is stronger,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
Parliament approves all six nominees, two Supreme Court Justices:
Parliament on Friday, March 24 approved all six ministerial nominees of president Akufo-Addo after a heated debate, 24 hours prior and a tense voting process.
Final results declared by Speaker Alban Bagbin showed that all nominees got more votes than the minimum of 138 votes required because out of the 275 eligible voters, there were three absent.
Below are the final figures for each nominee:
Total eligible 275
Absentees = 3
Total valid votes = 272
Hon KT Hammond, Minister for Trade and Industry
Yes = 154
No = 116
Rejected = 1
Abstention = 1
Bryan Acheampong, Minister for Food and Agriculture
Yes = 167
No = 98
Rejected = 1
Abstention = 3
Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs
Yes = 147
No = 122
Abstention = 3
Yes = 152
No = 117
Rejected = 1
Abstentions = 2
Osei Bonsu Amoah
Yes = 149
No = 120
Stephen Amoah, deputy minister of Trade and Industry
Yes = 146
No = 123
Abstentions = 3
Meanwhile, Parliament also voted on the report of two remaining two Supreme Court justice nominees appointed by Akufo-Addo.
At the end of a vote demanded by the Minority, both nominees were approved by a slight majority. George Kingsley Koomson, Justice of the Court of Appeal got 139 YES votes against 133 NO votes, whiles Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu, Justice of the High Court got 138 YES and 134 NO votes.Abesmtion = 2