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All six ministerial nominees by President Nana Akufo-Addo were successfully approved by Parliament on Friday 24th March, 2023, with support from a section of the minority caucus despite a directive from the party’s leadership to reject the nominees in line with general concerns from the public about the huge size of Government with its associated extravagant expenditures in the current worsening economic situation in the country. The House also passed two Judges to the Supreme Court, notwithstanding the initial opposition from the Minority MPs when the president made the nominations in July last year.
A few weeks ago, the General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Fifi Kwetey, on behalf of the leadership of the party, expressed their disappointment about the president’s nominations of new ministers and justices for the Supreme Court and directed their members to vote against the nominees. According to the NDC, there was the need to cut down on the number of ministers and appointees in the already huge size of government operated under the Akufo-Addo administration.
However, on Friday night, several NDC Members of Parliament joined their counterparts in the majority caucus in a vote of approval for all the six ministerial nominees and Judges, leaving the rank and file of the NDC and the general public disappointed. Out of the 275 eligible voters, there were 272 MPs present with three (3) absentees. The NPP legislators were reduced to 135 owing to two absentees; Hon. Sara Adwoa Safo of Dome-Kwabenya and the Kumawu MP Hon. Philip Barsoa. At the end of the voting exercise, Hon. Bryan Acheampong who was a nominee for the Food and Agriculture ministry secured 167 YES votes against 98 to record the highest win margin, Hon. KT Hamond, a nominee for the Trade and Industry ministry also recorded a 154 YES votes against 116. Hon. Amin Adam polled 152 YES votes against 117 to pass to be the minister of state at the Finance ministry, while Hon. O.B Amoah secured a 149 majority votes against 120 to the position of a minister of state at the Ministry of Local Government. The rest are Mr. Asamoah Boateng and Hon. Stephen Amoah who secured 147 and 146 YES votes against 122 and 123 respectively. The House also unanimously adopted the Report from the Appointments Committee which was tasked with the vetting of the nominees for the Supreme Court.
Former president John Dramani Mahama expressed his disappointment over the decision of Parliament, especially by some members of the Minority to approve the nominees, in defiance of their party’s directive and against calls from the general public and several Civil Society Organizations to reject any further ministerial appointments. Commenting on the development through his Facebook page sighted by DFS Live News, the former president made known his disappointment, saying “those responsible for this betrayal must do some serious soul searching and learn to place national interest over personal interest”. According to him, “the position [to vote against the nominees] was supported by a broad section of Ghanaians and public advocacy groups” and did not understand why the MPs turned their back on Ghanaians when they needed them.
In a Press Release on 25th March, 2023, the NDC highly commended the Ato Forson Minority leadership and all MPs who stayed true to the expectations of Ghanaians and promised to identify them and appropriately commend them.