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General News of Friday, 1 March 2013

Source: Citi FM

I did not err by swearing in Council of State members - Mahama

President John Mahama has dismissed claims that he erred by swearing in the first batch of members of the Council of State.

Some Members of Parliament have raised red flags following the decision by the President to appoint and swear-in members of the Council of State without consulting the House.

Parliament had agreed to form a Committee led by the Speaker, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee and the leadership of the house to meet with the President and resolve the situation amicably.

Speaking at the Flagstaff House during the swearing in of three other Council members on Friday, President Mahama assured Ghanaians that he followed due process and gained approval from Parliament.

He explained the selection process of Council of State members saying: “I wish to note that as per Article 89 of the 1992 Constitution, there are four distinct categories of people who should serve on the Council of State. The first category is one member from each of the ten regions elected by an electoral college supervised by the Electoral Commission.

"The next category are members appointed directly by the President and then also, we have one fixed representative specified in article 89 B; which is the President of the National House of Chiefs… he is mandated by the Constitution to be a member of the Council of State. The last category includes a former Chief of Defense Staff, a former Inspector General of Police and a former Chief Justice. Unfortunately, we don’t have a surviving Chief Justice in Ghana and so that position cannot be filled but we have surviving Chiefs of Defense Staff and surviving Inspector General of Police.”

President Mahama thus clarified that, “the Constitution says the President of Ghana shall appoint them in consultation with Parliament it didn’t say with prior approval of Parliament.

"I duly wrote to Parliament to inform them of my intention and I have since received a letter from Parliament endorsing the appointment," he revealed.

The Council of State Members sworn in on Friday includes former IGP, Christopher Komla Dawonu, Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Seth Kofi Obeng and Nana Osei Asibey, Otumfuo’s Deebosohene.