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General News of Tuesday, 25 September 2018


Review vetting procedure of sector minister nominees - Haruna Iddrisu to Parliament

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu play videoMinority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority leader in parliament is calling for a determination on whether existing Ministers should go through another round of parliamentary vetting if reshuffled.

Haruna Iddrisu contends that for instances where a Regional Minister is "elevated" to another Ministry and appointed into the cabinet, the minister in question should go through vetting again because the new position is a promotion from the previous.

The decision by President Akufo Addo to reshuffle Ministers some months ago, generated a debate on whether they have to go through another parliamentary vetting.

Government maintained that the ministers were vetted for their previous positions and so are not constitutionally mandated to go through another one just to change portfolios.

Former Information Minister Mustafa Hamid during his tenure, stressed that a person presented by government to parliament for vetting, if given the nod, is approved as Minister of State and not as Minister for a specific portfolio. The person, therefore, qualifies to hold any Ministerial position within the government with that approval.

Speaking on the floor of parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, said there should be a review of the law, since, in his opinion, there is an elevation if a minister who was not in cabinet, becomes a cabinet minister after a reshuffle. This promotion, therefore, requires the house to vet the appointee to determine his/her competence for the new position.

“…Mr. Speaker is it not about time that this Parliament decided that when a regional minister is being elevated to a cabinet minister, must he appear before the appointments committee or not; we need to make a determination because from a regional minister within the meaning of Article 256 cannot be the same thing as the thinking in the framers of the constitution,” he noted.

Using the Ministers of Monitoring and Evaluation as well as the Finance Minister as examples he explained that they were appointed due to their respective backgrounds and hence if the two were to be reshuffled to occupy their respective positions it would be prudent to ensure that they had prior knowledge in their new fields or positions.

Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Ocquaye, however, responded that the law says the President is at liberty to call any Minister to cabinet irrespective of the portfolio.

Majority Leader in Parliament Kyei Mensah Bonsu backed Haruna Iddrisu and was of the view that he had raised an issue which ought to engage the attention of the house.

“Mr. Speaker I do agree with him that when a minister is nominated, that minister is really going to be in charge of just one compartment of this country. A sector minister superintend over the entirety of the country. The difficulty however is that the same nomenclature is applied for regional ministers and sector ministers…” he indicated.

He however noted that until the House decides on the way forward on the issue, the status quo should go on.

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