General News of Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Accra, July 31, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday raised concerns about the inadequacies of the country's hybrid Constitution, especially, the system where Ministers also serve as Members of Parliament (MPs).
Being both Minister and MP could be tempting and fuel the political ambition to aspire for the Presidency, he noted. Ghana's Constitution makes it mandatory for two-thirds of Government Ministers to be appointed from Parliament.
President Kufuor, who was swearing in 14 new Ministers, made reference to the resignation of eight top Ministers from his Cabinet to bid for the Presidential ticket of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and said this was a huge test and that, had it not been for the fact that the party was endowed, there would have been a serious crisis. He however, cautioned that, if such development should keep recurring the entire system could break. There would come a time when Government would be bereft of the right people.
President Kufuor said those calling for stricter separation of powers between the Executive and the Legislature had a point. Ministers in many countries, he said, worked full time and as professionals and so did MPs.
He asked the new Ministers to work themselves extra hard to fill the big boots left by those they were taking over from. "We must win the 2008 polls genuinely and cleanly and this would depend on the quality of work and contributions you make." President Kufuor warned that he would not countenance the "cutting of corners and dribbling around" by any of them. Government, he said was integral and that they should all be team players. Fighting for turf and pursuing private political ambition would not be tolerated.
They should be loyal, totally focused and committed to re-energize the Government to return the NPP to power.
"We see the tape before us and we must breast it." President Kufuor thanked the outgoing Ministers and said their presence at the ceremony showed that they were not leaving with bitterness.
Mr. Akwasi Osei Adjei, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs Oboshie-Sai Cofie, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Dr. Benjamin Aggrey-Ntim, Minister of Communications, Nana Akomea, Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment, Mr. Joe Baidoo-Ansah, Trade and Industry Minister and Mr Samuel Owusu Adjei, Minister of State, Public Sector Reform were among those sworn in.
The rest were Nana Obiri-Boahen, Minister of State, Interior, Ms. Cecilia Ama Dapaah, Minister of State, Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr. Abraham Osei Aidoo, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr George Hika Benson, Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Afram Asiedu, Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Alhassan Samri, Upper East Regional Minister, Mrs Esther Obeng Dapaah, Lands, Forestry and Mines Minister and Mr Godfred T. Bonyon, Minister of State, Transportation. Mr Osei-Adjei on behalf of his colleague Ministers pledged loyal and dedicated service to the nation.