Parliament on Tuesday approved seven nominees for ministerial positions for some imperative ministries.
They included Mr Seth Emmanuel Terkper, Minister for Finance; Ms Hanna Serwaah Tetteh, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing and Alhaji Amin Amidu Suleimani, Minister for Roads and Highways.
The rest are Mr Clement Kofi Humado, Minister for Food and Agriculture; Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister for Lands and natural resources and Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister for Information and Media Relations.
First Deputy Speaker and Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, who presented the first report of the Committee to the House for adoption entreated members to, by consensus, approve the appointment of the nominees who had completely met the requirements of the Constitution.
But before the debates on the motion commenced, Deputy Minority leader and MP for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul informed the House that his side would not take part in the debate on the Committee’s report and subsequent reports emanating from the processes of the Appointments Committee.
“Mr Speaker, I wish to indicate that members of the Minority side will abstain from the debate first on the motion and similar motions about appointment...And we will also abstain from voting process on this motion and on subsequent motions that have to do with appointments”.
That view point immediately drew shouts of disapproval and heckling from the Majority side of the House, with some members questioning the propriety of the Minority resorting to that line of action, sitting through the debate on the appointments of the nominees but not contributing to the process.
However, Majority Leader and MP for Nandom, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor responded that it was the legitimate right of the Minority to state their position on matters so long as that posturing did not breach the Act of Parliament, indicating that that stance did not “diminish” the process of approving the nominees.
“I guess they definitely are entitled to take positions on matters of this nature in as much as it doesn’t offend our Standing Orders and in as much as the Constitutional Act of Parliament is not breached by that conduct”.
“We wish to indicate that their decision will in no way diminish the process. We only want to register that history is quite often the only subject people learn and do not practice. There is enough precedents in this House about how past conducts turned subsequently to be highly regrettable years after”.
“We on this side will continue to entreat our colleagues in the Minority that the only thing that matters as we sit in this House is Ghana first.
“The other thing that matters is that we should be very active representatives of our constituents and more significantly that we owe it to ourselves and to our political parties to deepen democracy and let it mature in this country.
Thus when the Speaker, Doe Adjaho moved the motion for approval for the nominees, the Majority sides overwhelmingly through affirmation approved the nomination of the seven ministers, with the Minority looking on with indifference.
The nominees last week appeared before the Appointments’ Committee to answer questions relating to their records of office, the position to which they had been nominated and general national issues.
The Minority declined to participate in the vetting process, arguing that since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was contesting the results of the December 7 polls in the Supreme Court, taking part in any process initiated by the executive would lend legitimacy to the recognition of President John Dramani Mahama.
The Appointments Committee would be vetting more of the ministerial nominees on January 30 and 31.
They are Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Minister nominee for Local Government and Rural Development, Nana Oye Lithur, Minister nominee for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dr Omane Boamah, nominee for Communication Ministry, Prof Jane Nana Opoku Agyemang, Minister nominee for Education, Dr Oteng Agyei, Minister nominee for Environment, Science Technology and Innovation.