The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is still sulking over the outcome of the parliamentary approval of six ministerial nominees which the party had directed its MPs to reject.
The NDC has therefore asked delegates of the party to vote against members of the Minority Caucus who they believe betrayed the party by approving the newly appointed Ministers.
According to the party, those Members of Parliament (MPs) engaged in a “brazen treachery.”
In a statement allegedly signed by Fifi Kwetey, General Secretary of the party said “The NDC has noted with deep sorrow the approval of new Ministers who were recently vetted by parliament.
“The party registers its anger against the MPs to defy the directive issued by the party on February 19, 2023 commanding the party’s MPs to be united in their rejection of all the nominees appointed by the President.
“The February, 19 directive was in the supreme interest of the party as it sought to prevent the reckless Government of the NPP from further bloating its size and burdening the taxpayer.
“As a consequence of the defiance, it is hereby instructed that delegates of the party should vote against all MPs who participated in today’s brazen treachery on the floor of parliament.
“We cannot win in 2024 by condoning the recklessness of the Akufo Addo/Bawumia government.”
This comes after Parliament had approved all the ministerial nominees of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo after initial confusion in the Chamber by the two Caucuses.
The approval means that the lawmaker for Adansi Asokwa MP, K.T Hammond will become the Minister of Trade and Industry with MP for Nhyiaeso, Dr. Stephen Amoah becoming his deputy.
Also, Bryan Acheampong, Minister for Food and Agriculture; Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs; Osei Bonsu Amoah, Minister of State at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development and Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance.
The Appointments Committee could not recommend the approval of the nominees on consensus compelling the House to vote to decide the fate of the minister-designates.
Announcing the results after vote cast on Friday March 24, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin mentioned that “Honourable Members, at long last collation of votes has ended. The register of 275 eligible voters, 3 voters were absent so 272 did exercise their franchise. The results of the voting are as follow; Honorable KT Hammond 154 Yes, 116 No, rejected 1, Bryan Acheampong, 167 Yes, 98 No, rejected 4, abstention 3. Stepehn Asamoah Boateng 147 Yes, 122 No, 3 abstention. Mohammed Amin Adams 152 Yes, 117 No, rejected 1, abstention 2. Osei Bonsu Amoah 149 Yes, 120 No, abstentions, Stepehen Amoah 146 yes, 123 no, 3 absention.”
He added that “The House has accordingly approved the nominations of the following persons as ministers and a deputy minister in accordance with 79(1) of the constitution.”
This was after heated exchanges regarding the report of the Appointments Committee on the recent vetting of the nominees.
Prior to the approval, confusion broke out in the House which led to the suspension of sitting by the Speaker as a result of the failure of both sides to agree on how to vote for the approval of two Supreme Court Justices, Ministers and deputy minister nominated by President Akufo-Addo.
When the Speaker began proceedings, the Majority opposed to secret voting and wanted the ballot boxes to be placed opposite the caucuses so that no member shows their votes to colleagues.
The Minority, however, rejected this, calling for secret voting immediately.
Furtherance, while the Majority members of the Committee have resolved to approve the Supreme Court Justices and the Ministers concurrently, the Minority however wanted voting and counting be done separately.
This compelled the Speaker to adjourn sitting to confer with leadership of the House.
By Vincent Kubi