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General News of Wednesday, 6 October 2021


Parliament checks ‘qualification’ of Ministerial nominees not ‘competency’ - Joe Osei-Owusu

Joseph Osei-Owusu is first Deputy Speaker of Parliament Joseph Osei-Owusu is first Deputy Speaker of Parliament

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu says it is not the responsibility of Parliament to check the competency of Ministers or any nominee by the President as assumed by the public.

When questioned on the GBC’s Breakfast Show on the approval of Ministers, Mr. Osei-Owusu said Parliament only checks the “qualification” of nominees, adding that, it is the President who checks the “competency” of Ministers and nominees as stipulated by the Constitution.

“It is very difficult to mark anybody’s competence from answers he gives at the one or two hours we deal with the person at the vetting. We take the person’s competence on the job,” Mr Osei- Wusu indicated.

Speaking on the issue about the disturbances that occurred in Parliament during the election of the Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic, he expressed disappointment about the turnout of events, saying he has not witnessed such incident in the House.

He described the incident as “needless aggression”.

“We’ve never had such behaviour from members on the floor, so what happened was regrettable and I strongly believe that it will not happen. Parliament has in many ways expressed regret for the conduct of the then Members,” he stated.

Mr. Osei-Owusu said working in Parliament as a Speaker had made him stop being partisan because he had to be a neutral person and a judge for both sides of the House.

“First Deputy Speaker has changed me, as a Speaker you have to behave as a Judge and if you are a Judge, your strongest point is to listen to both sides, that is exactly my call as a Deputy Speaker.”

Mr. Osei-Owusu who spoke about the challenging situation in the country said Ghanaians as a people are dishonest, and called for the need to admit and change their attitude. He said Ghanaians should be focused and determined with whatever decision they take in life.

Joseph Osei-Owusu is a lawyer, and politician. He is the Member of Parliament for Bekwai Constituency. Mr. Osei-Owusu has worked as a lawyer for 29 years in Ghana after being called to the bar in 1990.

He started his career in the chambers of Yaw Barimah & Co and later joined George Sarpong Legal Services where he later rose to become Assistant Head of Chambers.

He later became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) a political appointment he got during the tenure of former President John Agyekum Kuffuor.

He was the First Deputy Speaker of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic. And currently, Mr. Osei-Wusu is the First Deputy Speaker in Ghana’s 8th Parliament.

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament is a man who started his life as a bus conductor working on his father’s ‘’trotro’’ for 8 months after 6th Form (Ordinary & Advanced Level Education).

According to Joe Osei Wusu, he enjoyed the work considering the real-life contact he had with people. Mr. Osei-Wusu said the work as a “trotro mate” became useful in his work at the DVLA as Chief Executive Officer because he understood the mindset of most drivers.

Mr. Osei-Wusu believes people must be evaluated with their work and not a particular political party they belong to.

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