General News of Tuesday, 22 January 2013
A meeting today by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to deliberate on the vetting of ministers-designate by President Mahama ended inconclusively, Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament Dominic Nitiwul has confirmed.
Six nominees are expected to appear before the Appointment Committee of Parliament for vetting on Thursday, but it is becoming clear that the NPP Minority, whose party is challenging the 2012 presidential election results in court, may not participate in the event.
Dominic Nitiwul told Joy FM’s Top Story on Monday that the National Executive Council, Minority Leadership in Parliament and Minority members on the Appointment Committee met on Monday to deliberate on the issue but did not come to any conclusion.
“The meeting was inconclusive,” he said the party had wanted to “resolve that particular matter, but unfortunately we couldn’t resolve it”.
He said a second meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow around 1pm to hopefully take “a firm decision whether to participate or not to participate”.
Mr Nitiwul indicated that at the meeting some members “expressed other ways of going about it” other than boycotting the process.
“The National Executive Council was very clear that we will take the issues case by case – the vetting of the ministers, state of the nation address by the president, budget and any other thing that will come from the president and his ministers - and each of the cases, the party leadership will sit with the Minority in Parliament to decide the way forward.”
He explained that some decisions of the President like budget and contract would stay irrespective of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the NPP’s petition, while decisions like ministerial appointment will not.
However, Mr Nitiwul insisted “I don’t think the intention of the NPP is to bring the work of government to a halt.”
Asked whether the NPP is also taking the constituents into consideration, the Deputy Minority Leader maintained that the party “will not take any decision that would not be in the interest of the constituency,” insisting anything by the government would be scrutinized carefully.
Meanwhile, a senior fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance, Kwesi Jonah said should the NPP carry through their threat to boycott the vetting, it would be “a great disservice not to the nation but the NPP as a political party”.
He cautioned that since the party is contesting the results in court, they should avoid any action that could dent Ghana’s democracy.
He stated that the MPs would have no choice but to "work with the same ministers they have refused to vet", should they fail to participate in their vetting, and yet the Supreme Court rules that Mahama is the duly elected president.
“They should help us as a nation to help vet the ministers properly...If they refuse to participate in this process and other processes I will find it very hard to believe how you can go to Parliament and swear that I am a Member of Parliament and I will discharge my duties, and then at the same time refuse to take part in a very, very important process that will help all of us as a nation.”