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Parliament approving ministers-designate exposes NDC’s deep cracks


Minority in parliament

1 years ago
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Deep cracks in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament have been exposed following a vote in the House on Friday 24 March 2023 to approve ministers and deputy ministers nominated by President Akufo-Addo to fill vacant positions in his government.


In all, there are 275 members of Parliament, however, 272 members took part in the voting exercise because the remaining three where absent from the House, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin indicated on the floor of the House before declaring the results of the ballot to approve the ministers and deputy ministers designate.


Ballot outcome


In the Speaker’s announcement, he noted that 154 members voted “Yes” to approve K.T. Hammond’s nomination as minister-designate for trade and industry with 116 voting “No”.


On the approval of Bryan Acheampong as minister-designate for food and agriculture, 167 voted “Yes” and 98 voted “No”. Stephen Asamoah Boateng’s nomination as minister-designate for chieftaincy and religious affairs, was also approved by 147 members voting “Yes” and 122 voting “No”.


Osei Bonsu Amoah’s nomination as the Minister of State designate at the ministry of local government, decentralization and rural development, was approved by 149 members voting “Yes” and 120 voting “No”.


152 members of Parliament voted “Yes” to approve the nomination of Amin Adam as minister of state-designate at the finance ministry with 117 voting “No” and 146 members voted “Yes” to approve Stephen Amoah as deputy minister-designate for trade and industry with 123 voting “No”.


The outcome of the ballot indicates that an average of about 20 MPs from the minority caucus joined their colleagues on the majority side to approve the minister nominees.


Party directives


It will be recalled that the NDC national leadership when it announced the change in the leadership of the minority caucus on Tuesday 24 January 2023, pointed out that the party was forced to remove Haruna Iddrisu as minority leader because he was not cooperating the party leadership and that he was seen more as supporting government business rather than the agenda of the NDC.


If Friday’s vote is anything to go by, it is clear that the new leadership of the minority caucus has not been able to whip all of its members to pursue the agenda of the party when it comes to parliamentary business.


The National leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on 7 March 2023, called on the minority caucus in Parliament to vote against the approval of all ministers of state designate who were vetted by Parliament’s Appointment Committee following their nomination by President Akufo-Addo.


The NDC also called on its members of Parliament not to support the passage of all pending financial bills that are crucial to government’s bid to secure the International Monetary Fund (IMF) three billion dollar (US$3 billion) Extended Credit Facility by the end of the month of March.


Ministerial nominations


President Nana Akufo-Addo nominated the MP for Adansi Asokwa, Kwabena Tahiru (KT) Hammond, as the new Minister of Trade to replace Alan Kyerematen, who resigned from the cabinet on 6 January 2023 to pursue his presidential ambitions.


The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, announced the nominations on the floor of the House on Tuesday (7 February). Akufo-Addo also nominated Stephen Amoah, the former chief executive officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), to serve as the deputy trade minister.


For the Ministry of Agriculture, the MP for Abetifi, Bryan Acheampong, was named as replacement for Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who also resigned last month to pursue his presidential ambition as well.


Osei Bonsu Amoah was also nominated as the Minister of State designate at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development and Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the former director general of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), was named as the new Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.


Mohammed Amin Adam, the current deputy minister of energy, was named as the Minister of State designate at the Ministry of Finance and Herbert Krapa, was moved from the role of deputy trade minister to deputy minister of energy.


All the nominees have been vetted by Parliament’s appointment committee but the committee failed to approve the ministers and deputy ministers designate by consensus.


NDC directive


In a letter signed by the general secretary of the party, Fiifi Kwetey, dated Tuesday 7 March 2023, and addressed to all constituency chairpersons of the party, the NDC noted that it has declared the period from 7 to 31 March 2023, as “Operation Save Our Democracy”.


“At its meeting held on Tuesday, March 7 2023, the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress in solidarity with the Minority Caucus in Parliament resolved that the period from the evening of 7 March, 2023 up to until the 31 March, 2023 has been declared as “Operation Save Our Democracy”.


“Accordingly, FEC issues the following directives; firstly, all campaign activities in all constituencies with sitting NDC MPs are hereby suspended and secondly, all sitting NDC MPs, shall be required to attend all Parliamentary sittings” the Fifi Kwetey letter read.


Third, “no NDC MP shall undertake any travel that will affect his or her attendance in Parliament. Fourth, “any MP who has travelled is hereby recalled immediately”.


The fifth and sixth directives in the NDC letter states that “all regional and constituency executives and aspirants are directed to ensure strict compliance with the directives herein and “all parliamentary aspirants, are hereby directed in their own interest, to strictly adhere to these directives as breach of same shall attract severe sanctions”.


source: Asaaseradio