President hasn’t breached Constitution— Speaker says

Doe Adjaho,Speaker of ParliamentThe Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, has denied reports that President John Mahama has breached Article 76 (1) of the Constitution, which spells out the number of ministers that should be appointed to form a Cabinet.

He said according to the Office of the President, the number of Cabinet ministers is currently 18, and added therefore that, President Mahama is yet to appoint either the Minister of Petroleum or the Minister for Power to bring the number to 19.

Article 76 of the constitution stipulates that Cabinet Ministers must not be less than 10 and more than 19.

However, the Parliamentary Debates, an official report of Parliament, indicates that currently there are 20 Cabinet Ministers in government, a breach of the constitutional provision.

The ministers, according to the report, are Seth Terkper, Finance, Hannah Serwaa Tetteh, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, Defence, Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Trade and Industry, Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Education and Alhaji Inusah A.B. Fuseini, Roads and Highways.

Others are Fifi Fiavi Franklin Kwetey, Food and Agriculture, Dzifa Attivor, Transport, Dr. Kweku Agyeman Mensah, Health, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Petroleum, Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, and Julius Debrah, Local Government and Rural Development.

The rest are Alhaji Collins Dauda, Water Resources, Works and Housing, Nii Osa Mills, Lands and Natural Resources, Mark Woyongo, Interior, Akwasi Oppong Fosu, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Nana Oye Lithur, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Haruna Iddrisu, Employment and Labour Relations, Dr. Omane Boamah, Communications and Dr. Kwabena Donkor, Power.

Mr. Adjaho said the 20 Cabinet ministers reported by the Parliamentary Debates was an error by the Editor of Debates in the House, because the current list of ministers did not include the ministers of Power and Petroleum.

He said the President would, by the close of this week, appoint either Dr. Kwabena Donkor or Kofi-Armah Buah to be part of cabinet.

In another development, the House passed the Youth Employment Agency Bill, 2014, which seeks to change the name of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), to Youth Employment Agency.

The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has an employment capacity of between 45,000 to 100,000 jobs.

Thirty thousand young men and women are expected to be assigned to the sanitation sector, where government also runs a monthly National Sanitation Day clean-up exercise.

By Yaw Kyei

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