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Parliament approves appointment of Ativor, Haruna, Kunbuor and others

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Parliament Tuesday approved five persons nominated by the President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, for various ministerial portfolios.

They are Dr Benjamin Bewa-Nyog Kunbuor, minister-designate for Government Business in Parliament; Mr Haruna Iddrisu, minister-designate for Trade and Industry; Mrs Marieta Brew Appiah-Opong, minister-designate for Justice and Attorney-General; Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, minister-designate for Energy and Petroleum; and Ms Dzifa Aku Attivor, minister-designate for Transport.

With the approval by the House, the five can now assume duty as ministers of state.

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Once again, the Minority declined to vote on the issue or take part in the debate in line with an earlier announced decision not to partake in the process of vetting or approval of the ministers.

Although they abstained, some comments made by the member for Shai-Osudoku, David Tetteh-Asumeng, calculated to draw the Minority into the debate appeared to have drawn the ire of the member for Bekwai, Joe Osei-Wusu, and the Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who urged the Speaker, Mr Doe Adjaho, to compel Mr Tetteh-Asumeng to withdraw them. He duly complied.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said although the Minority had declined to participate in the vetting, the situation did not preclude them from making comments on the report of the Appointments Committee if they so wished because when a report was laid before the House, it became the property of Parliament.

The Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, who moved  for the approval of the nominees, said the committee had carried out its duties diligently in accordance with the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of the House.

He said the committee was satisfied that the nominees had fully met the requirements of the Constitution and urged the House to approve the nominations “by concensus”.

The member for Ashaiman, Mr Alfred Agbesi, said considering the competence of the five, the President could not have made any better nominations.

He said during the vetting, Dr Kunbuor, for example, convinced the committee that he would not “sacrifice the principle of separation of powers on the altar of expediency”.

The member for Hohoe, Dr Bernice Adiku Heloo, commended the President for propping up women through his appointments.

Story by Mark-Anthony Vinorkor