A member of Parliament’s Appointment Committee, Alhassan Suhuyini, has said the vetting of some Deputy Minister nominees by the Majority side on Friday, June 11, 2021, amounts to disregard for the authority of the Speaker of the House.
The members on the Minority side of Parliament on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, staged a walkout to protest the approval of four deputy ministerial nominees who were vetted on the Green Ghana Day when MPs were asked to join the national tree planting exercise by the Speaker.
According to them, it was unfair to the Minority members on the Appointments Committee when the committee went ahead to vet the said nominees even when the Speaker had ruled that all activities be suspended for the house to fully participate in the national tree planting exercise.
Mr Suhuyini in an interview justified the Minority’s boycott. According to him, the actions of the Majority shows they are not ready to build consensus.
“For the Speaker to have given the directive on June 11, 2021, for us to support a government programme of greening Ghana and for people who are leading the government in Parliament to disregard that and carry out the vetting the way they did, and continued to show the level of disrespect that they are showing, clearly, that does not indicate a side that is hearing the calls of Ghanaians for us to build consensus and build bridges especially given the nature of the hung Parliament that we have now so that government business will be fast-tracked”.
“I think that what happened is a gross disrespect for the Speaker’s authority.”
The Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi, has also accused the Majority side of bad faith.
“The Chairman of the [Appointments] Committee has not been fair to the Minority side of the committee. Whilst the Right Honourable Speaker directed that we should take part in the tree planting, they organised a meeting for the vetting of these people. We from the Minority will not be part of this debate because the Chairman has not been fair to us,” he said.
Who are the nominees in question?
They are the Deputy Attorney General, Diana Asonaba Dapaah; the Deputy Local Government Minister, Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah; the Deputy Sanitation Minister, Amidu China and the Deputy Gender Minister, Zuweira Abudu.
The Minority side had requested a second round of vetting for the nominees, but that was not granted.
Joe Osei Owusu explains why the Appointments Committee sat on ‘Green Ghana Day’
The Chairman of Parliament’s Appointments Committee, and First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, has already explained why the Appointments Committee sat on Friday, June 11, 2021, despite a directive for parliamentarians to go to their constituencies to plant trees.
In an interview, Mr Osei Owusu said “I was informed by the Minority Leader that the leadership of Parliament had decided that Parliament will not sit on Friday, but soon after that, the Majority Leader informed me that the Appointments Committee will be sitting, I was not in the Chamber, so I did not know what was announced.”
He dispelled claims that members on the minority side of the committee opposed the decision to vet Mr Adjei-Mensah Korsah, and boycotted the sitting because their objections were overruled.