Approval of nominees: Majority carries the day in a marathon of voting …approves six ministers, two SC judges
The Majority caucus in parliament carried the day on Friday in a marathon of voting on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s nominees for vacant ministerial portfolios and to the Supreme Court.
After over 12 hours of voting which stretched beyond 12-midnight, all nominees – six ministerial and two Supreme Court justices – were approved by a majority decision despite the caucuses having equal numbers -136 apiece – in the House on the day.
The Minority had indicated that they would vote en masse against the nominees citing the “bloated size of the government” and political affiliation of the Supreme Court justice nominees.
The ministerial nominees are Kobina Tahir Hammond, Trade and Industry; Brian Acheampong, Agriculture and Stephen AsamoahBoateng, Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.
The rest are OseiBonsuAmoah, Minister of State, Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development; Mohammed Amin Adam, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Dr Stephen Amoah, Deputy Minister, Trade and Industry.
The two nominees to the Supreme Court are Justice Ernest Yaw Gaewu and Justice George Kingsley Koomson.
After several hours on the modalities to take the vote, forcing the Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, to suspend the House for more than an hour, the House reconvened and the path was cleared for the exercise to proceed.
At the end of voting, Mr Hammond, MP, AdansiAsokwa polled 154 yes votes, 116 no votes, one abstention and one rejected ballot and Brian Acheampong, MP, Abetifi recorded 167 yes votes, 98 no votes, four abstentions and three rejected ballots.
Ministers of State designates, Mr Amoah and Mr Adam, MPs for Akuapim South and Karaga garnered 149 and 152 yes votes, 120 and 117 no votes, three and one abstentions respectively and two rejected ballots for Mr Adam.
Mr Stephen AsamoahBoateng, the only non-MP among the ministerial nominees had 146 yes votes, 123 no votes, three abstentions whilst DrAmoah, MP, Nhyaeso recorded 147 yes votes, 122 no votes and three abstentions.
On the Supreme Court justices, Justice Gaewu, a High Court judge, a two-time parliamentary candidate for the governing New Patriotic Party in the Ho Central Constituency had 138 yes votes and 134 no votes.
Justice Koomson, a Court of Appeal judge had 139 yes votes and 133 no votes.
In the public gallery to witness the voting process and to activate the party whip system were the National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Johnson AsieduNketiah and MrJustin KoduaFrimpong, General Secretary of the NPP.
Seated in the public gallery on the left wing of the Speaker over the minority, overlooking the majority was MrFrimpong.
On the opposite side overlooking the minority was MrNketiah and the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the party, Emmanuel NiiAshie Moore.
Acting as unofficial polling agents, the party leaders were seen turning to their phones with their eagle eyes as the Table Office called out the names of the MPs to walk to the polling booths to cast their ballots.
With all the nominees approved, President Akufo-Addo would be expected to swear them in to join the government and the apex court.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI