The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed disappointment at its Minority caucus in Parliament who voted to approve six new ministers appointed by President Akufo-Addo.
The Minority caucus in Parliament earlier said it will not approve the ministers in line with a directive from the leadership of the party but all the nominees were approved after a secret vote on Friday, March 24, 2023.
The NDC at the party level had taken a position not to approve the nominations citing the economic challenges facing the country.
It is the NDC’s position that the President should reduce the number of his appointees and should therefore not be appointing new ministers to fill vacant positions but rather merge ministries.
The NDC has 136 seats but 135 eligible votes because of the court case with Assin North.
The NPP has 137 but two of their members were absent.
In total there were 275 eligible voters, with three absentees, so in all 272 MP cast their ballot.
Mr Hammond went through with 154 votes in his favour, with 116 voting against his nomination for appointment, and one each rejected ballot and an absentee.
Mr Amoah polled 149 ‘Yes’ votes, 120 ‘No’ votes and three absentees, while Dr Amoah secured 146 votes in his favour, 123 ‘No’ votes and three abstentions.
The rest are Dr Amin Adam, who secured 152 approval votes, 117 ‘No’ votes, one rejected ballot and two abstentions, Mr Asamoah Boateng secured 147 votes in his favour, 122 against his appointment, leaving three abstentions, while Dr Acheampong went through with 167 votes in his favour, 98 against, four rejected ballots and three abstentions.
Prior to the voting process, the Majority’s 137 membership was reduced by two, with MP for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, and the MP for Kumawu, Philip Barsoa, being absent.
Ms Safo has been a longtime absentee for unexplained reasons, while Barsoa was suddenly taken ill.
One other person from the Majority side, Ebenezer Kojo Kum, who is the MP for Ahanta West, in spite of being under the weather, was forced to come to the House to make up the numbers for the battle to see the President’s nominations through.
He was served his ballot paper per the directive of the Speaker to enable him to vote.
This is indicative that some of the NDC MPs voted to approve the ministerial nominees against what the party had advocated.
This is what has ignited a reaction from the party.
The NDC in a press statement signed by its General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey on Saturday, March 23, 2023, condemned the conduct of the MPs, saying, “it not only betrays the expressed will of the party, but the desire of the Ghanaian people and constitutes a massive stab in the back of the good people of Ghana”.
The party, however, reaffirmed its “principled position for President Akufo-Addo to downsize his bloated government and reset his priorities to reflect the difficult times Ghanaians find themselves in”.
“The party commends highly, the leadership of the Minority caucus in Parliament and Members of Parliament who stayed true to the expectations of the party and the Ghanaian people. We will stop at nothing to identify them and publicly laud them in due course. Their loyalty and patriotism will not be forgotten” it added.
Read the full statement below:
For Immediate Release:
25th March, 2023
NDC REAFFIRMS ITS POSITION ON THE NEED FOR THE PRESIDENT TO DOWNSIZE HIS GOVERNMENT IN THE WAKE OF PARLIAMENT’S APPROVAL OF NEW MINISTERIAL NOMINEES.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has taken notice of the outcome of a vote on new Ministerial nominees on the floor of Parliament, yesterday, 24th March, 2023.
Ghanaians would recall that the party issued a directive to the Minority Caucus in Parliament to reject the new Ministerial nominees a few weeks ago. This was in alignment with the pervasive view of Ghanaians that this moment of economic crisis and financial haircuts, calls for the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to show by example that it is willing to reduce its expenditure by downsizing its government among other things.
We note however, that some Members of Parliament on the side of the NDC Minority for reasons known to themselves, elected to place their parochial interest ahead of the interest of Ghanaians.
The party, on behalf of all Ghanaians, condemns this conduct in no uncertain terms, as it not only betrays the expressed will of the party, but the desire of the Ghanaian people and constitutes a massive stab in the back of the good people of Ghana.
The party wishes to reaffirm its principled position for President Akufo-Addo to downsize his bloated government and reset his priorities to reflect the difficult times Ghanaians find themselves in.
The party commends highly, the leadership of the Minority caucus in Parliament and Members of Parliament who stayed true to the expectations of the party and the Ghanaian people. We will stop at nothing to identify them and publicly laud them in due course. Their loyalty and patriotism will not be forgotten.
It must be noted that, the National Democratic Congress as a body corporate, has multiple structures, represented by elected and appointed officers who are expected to act in the supreme interest of suffering Ghanaians, particularly the over six (6) million supporters of the party. The party as a corporate entity therefore bears no liability for the deviant action of the few self-seeking Members of Parliament who betrayed the collective cause of the party and the nation.
Undoubtedly, our country currently faces the biggest economic meltdown in living memory. It is therefore unpardonable for any person, not to talk of a Member of Parliament who believes in the ideals of the NDC, to lend support to the ongoing recklessness by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government.
The NDC shall continue to hold the government accountable for the socio-economic quandary that our country finds itself and present our superior alternatives to Ghanaians in our bid to rescue the soul of our nation.
We are not oblivious of the fact that, the road to rescue will at a point become rough, howbeit such obstacles only strengthen our resolve to achieve the rescue mission. We shall leave no stone unturned in our quest to bring our dear nation out of our present economic doldrums.
Comrade Fifi Fiavi Kwetey