Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has stated that he did not receive any communication from the President prior to the release of the 11 appointees nominated for the Council of State yesterday.
This, he stated constitutes a breach of Articles 89(2) of the 1992 Constitution.
This follows the publication of some names for appointments unto the Council of State by the Acting Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin at the Presidency.
He released a statement on Monday, February 1 detailing the names of appointees to the Council.
The names on the list include former Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, former Chief of Defence Staff General J. B. Danquah and former Inspector General of Police Nana Owusu Nsiah among others.
Before public discussions began in the House on Tuesday, minority leader Haruna Iddrisu said it was an aberration of the Constitution as no such consultations had been made with Parliament.
Citing 89(2) which states that “The Council of State shall consist of a) following persons appointed by the President in consultation with Parliament”, the Tamale South MP stressed that appointments of this nature is a shared responsibility between the Executive and Legislative arms of government.
“… But Mr. Speaker, no formal communication from the President, yet there is announcement in the air. We can’t follow those announcements.
“So Mr. Speaker, the President’s handlers must know that before they go to the media, you are officially notified. The purpose of this House is to know the important decisions the President is taking so that the President can work with Parliament as an arm of government,” he said.
However, Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markins disagreed with his colleague on the other side’s position.
He argued that the Executive does not seek to undermine the authority of Parliament as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs insinuate.
The Effutu MP further asked: “Is the consultation so to mean a formal letter to you [the Speaker] or an engagement? Since in any event the provision the Article further states individuals who can be appointed to the Council of State,” he stated.
Having heard the argument in the Chamber, Mr Bagbin acknowledged that the President had not actually consulted him as House Leader on the names released.
In that regard, he announced that a message will be conveyed to the Office of the President for the appropriate thing to be done.
“The Speaker is not Parliament, if there has been any such practice, I will not follow a wrong practice. The consultation is supposed to be with Parliament and you chaired by the Speaker constitute Parliament and so even if there is a communication in whatever form to me even if it’s verbal, I would have to convey it to you.
“I have not received any communication from the President in this respect. Neither verbal nor written, formal or informal. And so the Minority Leader is right in drawing the attention of the House to this, and I will direct that this be conveyed to the Office of the President that the proper thing is done,” he said.
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