The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has responded to calls by the Ghana Bar Association to reconsider its decision not to participate in the vetting of President John Mahama’s ministerial nominees, saying its decision was based on firm principles.
In a letter signed by party chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey to the president of the GBA, the NPP maintained that the decision to boycott the vetting was “based on firm principles and is fully consistent with our commitment to work to deepen and improve our evolving democracy and establish a just peace in our country.”
The vetting of the ministers-designate started Thursday without the participation of NPP Members of Parliament.
The letter explained that “reconciling our position to our local culture would be that if one is challenging the elevation of a Paramount Chief one does not, at the same time, recognise such sub chiefs as he may enstool.”
Read the letter below
THE PRESIDENT GHANA BAR ASSOCIATION ACCRA ATTN NENE AMEGATCHER 25th JANUARY, 2013
The public call by the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) on New Patriotic Party Members of Parliament to reconsider the Party's decision not to take part in the vetting of ministerial nominees has been brought to my attention.
Whilst we are always available to engage with your Association and others to explain our stance on any and every issue, I hope the comments below will help you to understand quickly that our decision in this matter, and hopefully all others we may take is based on firm principles and is fully consistent with our commitment to work to deepen and improve our evolving democracy and establish a just peace in our country.
The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates and the National Chairman of the NPP are challenging the declaration of the election of the President in the Supreme Court.
This challenge is fully supported by the NPP as per the decision of the National Council of the Party, which chose to go to law and not to the streets in a violent challenge to a disputed election.
Whilst the challenge is pending, NPP Members of Parliament will engage fully in the work of Parliament.
They will participate vigorously in the everyday business of Parliament. They will be involved in all legislative functions and assist in carrying out Parliament's oversight responsibility of the Executive and public purse In the normal course of Parliamentary business, NPP MPs will scrutinize and contribute to the making of the Budget, study and help pass bills, and deliberate loan agreements and all financial transactions involving the state.
Whilst the challenge is pending, NPP members of Parliament will, however, not participate in any activities or deliberate on matters that involve the constitution of President Mahama's government, like vetting of Ministers of state. The decision was taken by the National Executive Committee of the N.P.P. in full consultation with the N.P.P. Parliamentary group, who are integral to the N.P.P.
The Ministers' role is to assist the President in the performance of his functions, and since the legitimacy of the President's position is under challenge at the Supreme Court, participating in their vetting would be contradictory to the challenge.
Thus the Ministers of State stand and fall by and with their appointing President, vide the very process that is ongoing to replace the Ministers appointed by the late President Mills.
Reconciling our position to our local culture would be that if one is challenging the elevation of a Paramount Chief one does not, at the same time, recognise such sub chiefs as he may enstool. I hope this explains our position. However, I am always available to answer any further questions you may have.
JAKE O. OBETSEBI-LAMPTEY (National Chairman)
CC: NANA AKUFO-ADDO, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DR. MAHAMADU BAWUMIA, VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MR. KWADWO OWUSU AFRIYIE, GENERAL SECRETARY N.P.P. HON. OSEI KYEI MENSAH-BONSU, NPP MINORITY LEADER AND N.P.P MPs POLITICAL PARTIES CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS THE MEDIA