Parliament approves 13 ministers-designate

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Parliament has approved the nomination of 13 persons as ministers-designate by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

 Of the 13, the nominations of three of the ministers-designate were subjected to secret voting with the 10 others sailing through by unanimous decision at a sitting of the House, which stretched to about 3am on Thursday, in Accra.

The nominees, who had their approval by voting, were Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister-designate for Information, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister-designate, Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister-designate, Food and Agriculture.

At the end of about three hours of voting, sorting and counting, Mr Nkrumah,  MP, Ofoase-Ayirebi, polled 155 ‘yes’ votes against 110 ‘no’ votes, representing 58.68 per cent approval.

Mrs Koomson, MP, Awutu Senya West, garnered 161 ‘yes’ votes, representing 60.75 of the 265 votes ups for grabs.

Dr Akoto received 143 ‘yes’ votes and 121 ‘no’ votes, representing 53.96 per cent. One vote was rejected.

By these outcome, the nominees qualify to be sworn into office in line with Standing Order 109(1), which says decisions would be taken in the House based on “the majority of the votes of the Members present and voting”.  

The 10 nominees who sailed through without a hitch are Albert Kan Dapaah, National Security, Dominic Nitiwul, MP, Bimbilla, Defence, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, MP, Bosomtwe, Education, and Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, MP, Suame, Parliamentary Affairs.

The rest are Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, MP, Manhyia South, Energy, Mr Dan Botwe, MP, Okere, Mr Ambrose Dery, MP, Nandom, The Interior, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, MP Sunyani West, Employment and Labour Relations, and Sarah Adwoa Safo, MP, Dome-Kwabenya, Gender, Children and Social Protection.

The approval process was preceded by long hours of debate between the Majority and Minority caucus; first over whether or not the motion should be taken at about 7pm on Wednesday or postponed to Thursday (yesterday).

Whilst the Minority favoured an adjournment to Thursday to allow for Members to study the 144 page report given to some of the MPs minutes earlier, the Majority caucus contended that government needed to be formed in earnest as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo comes to deliver his maiden second-term address on the State of the Nation Address, on Tuesday, March 9.

To determine if the motion should be taken or not, the Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin, put the question, but a voice vote could not tell who won, so he called for a headcount at which the Majority won.

According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus which objected to the nomination of Mr Nkrumah and others, the trio did not merit a ministerial portfolio after they were subjected to the test of the 26-Member Committee.

 Mr Bagbin after declaring the outcome of the long proceeding, which at a point was superintended by the Second Deputy Speaker, said “the House will proceed to communicate the decision to his excellency the President as Parliament having given prior approval to the nominations”.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

Source: citinewsroom