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Politics of Wednesday, 26 October 2016


Parliament likely to vote on Oti Bless’ nomination

John Oti Bless John Oti Bless

The fate of the President’s nominee for the position of deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, John Kwabena Bless Oti, is likely to be determined by Parliament through the ballot.

Oti Bless’ ministerial appointment has remained in the balance for the past three months following his alleged abusive remarks over the Judiciary, especially, the Chief Justice on an Accra-based radio station – Montie FM.

Oti Bless had excelled when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for public scrutiny and was patiently waiting for his approval for job when the Committee submitted its report to the plenary for consideration and approval.

However, his expected approval turned out to be a nightmare when the Minority side of the House objected to his nomination.

NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai, Joseph Osei-Owusu who led the protest referred the Speaker to comments made by the nominee during a political talk-show on Montie FM.

Three other persons, Godwin Ako-Gunn, Alistair Nelson and Salifu Maase, aka Mugabe, who were also on the same program, were sentenced to three months in prison after the Supreme Court found them guilty of contempt over the Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako vs Electoral Commission case it was hearing.

His nomination was therefore put on hold by the Speaker of Parliament pending further deliberations over the matter.

On August 5, 2016, Mr. Oti Bless was expected to render unqualified apology to the Judiciary and the Chief Justice on the floor of Parliament but such a move did not come on, compelling the Speaker to adjourn the House sine die.

On October 20, 2016, Mr. Oti Bless’ expected approval cropped up again on the floor but the Minority kicked against it claiming the Legislature lacked the numbers to consider his approval.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, however, directed for further consultations over the matter.

At a sitting on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, when everybody was expecting that a consensus has been reached and that Mr. Oti Bless’ nomination could be approved, NPP MP for Old Tafo stepped in and kicked against it.

He gave a hint of what was expected to come, reminding Members of Order 172(4) of the Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana.

Order 172(4) of the Standing Orders of the House states that “The Committee shall report to Parliament within three days after it has concluded its proceedings when Parliament is sitting. Parliamentary approval of persons recommended for appointment shall be by secret or by consensus.

(5) Each Member shall be provided with a sheet of paper on which appears the names of all candidates for approval or rejection. Against the name of each candidate shall be two columns, one for AYES indicating approval and the other for NOES indicating rejection.”

Inside sources say Mr. Oti Bless’ approval is likely to be determined through the ballot by the lawmakers.

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