The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin last night directed that the house debates the report of the Appointments Committee on the new Ministers appointed by President Akufo-Addo on Thursday, while the fates of the new appointees are decided today, Friday, March 24.
This comes after the house suspended a debate on the report for more than five hours to offer members the opportunity to engage in a joint caucus meeting.
Although members on both sides of the house were not in support of the directive, the Speaker stood by his position.
“We agree to disagree, at the end of the day, my decision is that we will debate [the report on Thursday] and take the decision on Friday. I have listened to your submissions, I will permit three from each side of the caucus, ten minutes per person and we will take the next step. My proposal is that we take the decision on Friday, but we will do the debate on Thursday,” the Speaker stated.
Prior to the vetting of the newly nominated ministers on Monday, February 20, 2023, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) directed the Minority group not to approve them, describing their appointments as an insensitive move that would increase government’s expenditure in the midst of an economic mess.
The nominated ministers include the Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, K.T Hammond as the Minister for Trade and Industry with the Member of Parliament for Nhyiaeso, Dr. Stephen Amoah serving as his deputy.
The Member of Parliament for Abetifi, Bryan Acheampong was also appointed as the Minister for Food and Agriculture.
Stephen Asamoah Boateng was appointed as the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs among others.
Meanwhile, the Minority has threatened to vote against the newly appointed ministers and deputy ministers.
Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson outlined some basis for the group’s position.
“We stand with the people of Ghana, and we are urging our colleagues from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to stand for Ghana and not to stand for their colleagues. Mr. Speaker, the nominees are our colleagues, but the principle is that it’s not about them, it’s about the republic of Ghana. They may be our colleagues and friends and relatives, but it’s not about them. I call on you to look them in their faces and vote against them for the republic of Ghana. For the future of our country,” he said.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu however appealed to the house to consider the approval of the nominees.
“I will just plead that we approve the ministers,” he appealed.