Minority’s Strategy To Torpedo Approval Of Ministers Fails

The newly appointed ministers and deputies by President Akufo-Addo were approved by Parliament through a voice vote, despite the minority staging a walkout.

The House, on Friday, May 17, 2024 gave prior approval to all the nominees for the various appointments, following the recommendation of the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

Whereas the minority argued they had counted the number of the majority side before walking out, the majority held that if the strategy was to clip the majority constitutionally by walking out, then that failed.

It was observed that the minority initially agreed at the Appointments Committee level to approve the nominees by consensus, but later changed their mind to say that the approval was by majority decision.

The Speaker, Right Honourable Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, put the question after listening to the majority, whose submission followed that of the minority, after which they walked out.

“Hon Members, at the conclusion of the debate, I put the question, “Those in favour of the motion say Aye; those against say No.”

After the response, Speaker Bagbin ruled that “the Ayes have it. The motion is adopted.”

He then announced that, “the House has accordingly approved the nominations of H.E. the President” and named all the appointees.


Earlier, the Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson mounted a spirited argument in opposition to the approval of the nominees.

He cited several reasons, including the difficulties in the Ghanaian economy, to drum home why his side of the House could not support the approval of the new appointees.

The Ajumako/Eyan/Essiam MP held that there should not be any justification as to why the finance ministry should have about four ministers, likewise the local government ministry.

On this basis, he said that the minority cannot, in “good conscience, support the approval of these nominees. The NDC minority caucus will not and cannot take part in this decision to further increase the size of this administration.
“Finally, Mr. Speaker, let the record reflect that the NDC minority caucus cannot be part of this approval process… With these few words, Mr. Speaker, I want to signal that we are walking out and let it be recorded that they took this decision themselves.

“We are not part of it. Mr. Speaker, we have counted their numbers already, and we know their numbers. If you don’t care, we care.”


The Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, commenting on the situation, said it was “indeed very sad” for his colleagues to approach the business of the House in that manner.

Citing that qualification for appointment as a minister or deputy was enshrined in the 1992 constitution, he also cited that the minority was part of the Appointments Committee process that vetted the nominees.

He indicated that the Committee had earlier tabled a report for the House to approve the nominees by consensus, only for the minority to pull out, compelling the Committee to submit a fresh recommendation for approval by majority decision.


The Effutu MP further remarked that the approval had been discussed at the business committee level and with the Speaker, but the minority never gave an indication they would not be part of the approval process at plenary.

In the opinion of the Majority Leader, the action of the Minority was “in bad faith for them to turn around and say that they don’t want to participate.”


According to the Majority Leader, the decision by the Minority, which is their right, does not stop the government from running and Parliament from approving the ministers and deputies.

“In any event, Mr. Speaker, the mere fact that they have walked out does not amount to their being absent from the proceedings.

“I remember Mr. Speaker’s ruling on the fact that when you come to Parliament and you are marked present and you decide to walk out on proceedings, it does not in any way, Mr. Speaker, render what is done in your absence void.

“So, Mr. Speaker, perhaps if they think that by going [out], it is a trap to clip us constitutionally, then Mr. Speaker, they lost it,” Afenyo-Markin argued.


The newly appointed ministers and deputies are Health Minister Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye; Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Ophelia Mensah Hayford; Minister for Information Ms. Fatimatu Abubakar, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dakoa Newman.

The rest are Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah; Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Lydia Seyram Alhassan; Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Andrew Egyapa Mercer; Minister for Greater Accra Region, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover and Minister for Oti Region, Daniel Machator.

The deputy ministers are Information – Sylvester Tetteh; Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development – Vincent Ekow Assafuah; Communications and Digitalisation – Charles Acheampong; Health – Adelaide Ntim, Alexander Akwasi Acquah – Works and Housing Dr. Prince Hamidu Armah.

The rest are Lands and Natural Resources – Akwasi Konadu; Fisheries and Aquaculture Development -Musah Abdul Aziz Ayaba; Energy – John Kobina Sanie and Collins Adomako Mensah; Education – Kingsley Nyarko; Employment and Labour Relations – Festus Awuah Kwofie; Gender, Children and Social Protection – Benjamin Sekyere Yeboah.


In a related development, the House also approved a $150 million loan facility from the World Bank.

The loan is intended to fund the ongoing Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project, aimed at addressing flooding in the capital, Accra.

This amount was approved regardless of the strong resistance from the minority side of the House, which claimed that the government had mishandled an earlier $200 million loan facility for that same project.

Their resistance resulted in a headcount that went in favour of the majority caucus, allowing for the approval of the $150 million World Bank facility for the GARID project.

The House that was on recess, but was called for the emergency sitting last Friday and has since been adjourned sine dine.


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