The Minority leader in Parliament and MP for Suame in the Ashanti Region, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, has contended that the President has revoked the appointment of Albert Abongo, Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing.
He said the President had communicated to Parliament that he is appointing a minister to the Ministry, which was occupied by the MP for Bongo.
He explained that in this case, the office of that Ministry was now vacant, so the President was appointing a new minister to that office
“That is the meaning of the communication from the president”, he stated. “It shouldn’t be the beef of the Minority, I think it should be the beef of the entire house and that is the import of the communication from the President to Parliament”
According to him, the constitution states clearly in Article 78, that ministers of state shall be appointed by the President with prior approval of parliament.
In addition to this, Article 81 also interprets what constitute a vacancy. “If the seat of a Minister or deputy Minister become vacant, if his appointment is revoked by the President or if he is elected as speaker or deputy speaker or if he retires from office or dies” he stated apparently, explaining the circumstance of declaring a position vacancy.
However, he said that if the President is making another appointment to that Ministry, then it means that once there is vacancy there, then the obvious intent was that the President had revoked the appointment of the minister. “It’s as clear as day light” he emphasized.
The Minority in Parliament yesterday protested vehemently against the decision to allow the outgoing minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr. Albert Abongo, to answer questions on behalf of the Ministry.
He argued that since Mr Abongo has been removed from office by the President, he cannot answer questions on the floor of the house.
The MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah, who led the Minority side, argued that the minister as far as he knows had been relieved of his position and he does not know the capacity in which Hon Abongo would answer the question.
The outgoing Majority leader, Hon. Alban Bagbin, however, disagreed with the Sekondi MP’s line of argument.
He also contended that in the appointment of a minister of state, an instrument is used, but the procedure has not been stated in the constitution or any law.
He added that if the appointment is to be revoked, until the instrument of revocation is issued, the Minister could still be at post.
However, the minority speaking on Accra Fm Station contended that the Majority leader was not making a viable point.
“As to the theory propounded by the Majority leader of the existence of an instrument of revocation, I found it was only mystical. Clearly it doesn’t exist anywhere”, he said.
Meanwhile, he said he had to intervene on behalf of the MP, for Bongo, though he did not support his idea of being in Parliament. “My own intervention is likening the situation to the election of a Speaker.
When a speaker resigns as target in Article 95(2) and our own standing orders 11(2), which says that if the speaker resigns a new speaker has to be elected, the speaker who has resigned can still preside until a new speaker is elected”, he said apparently stating that he drew that parallel to save him.
He said he could not just figure what was going to happen to him, which is why he threw in that life line. “It was more or less an SOS message”. “It certainly was not tidy, the former Minister had no business coming to parliament to answer questions” he added.
Source: Alex Ofei/peacefmonline/Ghana
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