‘Ministerial appointments rendering Parliament inefficient’

Prof Mike Oquaye, Speaker of Pariament

Prof Mike Oquaye, Speaker of
Pariament

Civil Society Organisation with focus on Ghana’s governance system, Odekro, has called for a strict separation of the executive and legislative arms of government in practice.
In furtherance of this, it noted that there is the need for an amendment to Article 78, which induces the President to appoint the majority of ministers from Parliament.

The statement indicated that the appointment of Parliamentarians into executive positions undermines the legislature because such Members of Parliament (MPs) are hardly present in the House.

Its concern followed a recommendation by the Select Committee of Parliament for the re-composition of the leadership of parliamentary committees, a situation which has become necessary due to the fact that some chairmen and vice chairmen of committees have been appointed ministers and deputy ministers.
In a statement issued in Accra, Odekro said early this year it issued a statement to the effect that President Nana Akufo-Addo’s appointment of 61 per cent – that is 67 ministers and deputy ministers from Parliament – would weaken Parliament’s oversight responsibility, as MP-ministers may be compromised by the executive.

“The fallout from President Akufo-Addo’s appointment of 110 Ministers continues to undermine Parliament and Odekro would like to commend the Selection Committee of Parliament for recommending to the House, the re-composition of the leadership of parliamentary committees.
The statement noted that on March 20, 2017, Odekro issued a statement to the effect that President Akufo-Addo’s appointment of 61 per cent (67) Ministers and Deputy Ministers from Parliament would weaken Parliament’s oversight responsibility, as MP-Ministers may be compromised by the Executive and national assignments that require ministers and deputy ministers to work outside the confines of Parliament.
“We also indicated that such action was at odds with the accolade the President enjoyed as a champion of democracy and his own assertion that Parliament must not be the “junior partner” of the Executive, but rather be allowed to grow as an “effective machinery for accountability and oversight of the executive.”

“Unfortunately, the Committee did not avert their minds to another problem at variance with best practice and the conventions of the house – chronic absenteeism.

“One-third of MPs (92 of the 275) would have to be present for parliamentary business to commence. The lack of quorum suspends government business and affects the quality of representation and scrutinisation of important bills,” it said.

The statement stressed that Odekro will continue to monitor events in Parliament especially MPs’ attendance and activities and a report will be made available to Ghanaians after analysis and assessment –primenewsgh.com

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