Politics

Parliament approves Oppong Nkrumah, 5 others as ministers


Parliament has approved the nomination of Kojo Oppong Nkrumah as the Information Minister.

Brong Ahafo Regional Minister Evans Opoku Bobie, Gender Minister Cynthia Morrison, Upper East Regional Minister Paulina Abayage, and two other Deputy Ministers have also been approved by the House.

Their approval follows a successful vetting by Parliament’s Appointment Committee last week and its recommendation for all the nominees to be approved.

Aviation Minister, Kofi Ada praised the Ofoase-Ayirebi MP for his brilliant answers to questions asked during the vetting.

“There is no doubt that with the impressive credentials of Oppong Nkrumah he will do a good job. He has the experience and he answered all the questions very well to the admiration of all the members on the Committee,” he said.

He added that Mr Oppong Nkrumah displayed professionalism in a way that makes him “a true example of the highest level of professional conduct that we should find in someone who is going to handle the Ministry of Information.”

The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to swear them in soon.

Constitutional arguments

There was a constitutional debate between the Majority and Minority sides regarding the nomination of Mr Oti-Gyarko as Deputy Minister for Brong Ahafo Region.

The Minority Leader and NDC MP for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said per Article 256 and Article 79, the President was supposed to consult the substantive regional minister before nominating Mr Oti-Gyarko.

However, he said at the time Oti-Gyarko was being nominated there was no substantive minister for the Brong Ahafo Region as the substantive minister, Mr Asomah Cheremeh, had been moved to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Mr Iddrisu said he would go to the Supreme Court to seek an interpretation to the Article 256 and Article 79 on the requirement for the President to consult substantive ministers before nominating their respective deputy ministers.

The MP for Tamale Central (NDC), Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, supported the position that the nomination of Mr Oti-Gyarko was unconstitutional because there was no consultation with the minister.

But the Majority Leader and MP for Suame (NPP), Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the MP for Abuakwa South (NPP), Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, and the Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, disagreed with that position and indicated that the President acted within the ambit of the Constitution.

Mr Atta Akyea said the use of the ‘may’ in respect to the consultation meant that the President had the discretion to consult the minister or not.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the President had consulted the substantive regional minister a day before he was reshuffled to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Giving his ruling, the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, said the use of “shall ‘ was always mandatory while the use of ‘may” was permissible.

Therefore, he said, it was a matter of discretion for the President to consult a substantive minister before nominating his deputy but not mandatory.

 



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