Former Trade Minister, Dr. Ekwow Spio Gabrah, has signaled the Members of Parliament (MPs) of his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) not to approve a number of ministerial nominees of President Akufo Addo when they are brought in for Parliamentary vetting.
In a post, the former Education Minister in the Rawlings regime said there are at least seven (7) bad nuts that must be winnowed out by the NDC MPs on the Appointments Committee.
“Great to read the commitment of our NDC MPs who wish to ensure that the wrong persons in the NPP do not become Ministers in the next Government of Ghana. There are at least 7 potential Ministers who do NOT deserve to be passed, and we look forward to our MPs doing what is best for Ghana in their vetting and voting,” he wrote.
The post which many are seeing as a signal, also narrated Dr. Spio Gabrah’s own bitter experience at the Vetting Committee of Parliament in 1993, when his nomination as Minister for Education was not approved.
And 1997 and 2014 when all NPP MPs voted against his nomination. “My personal experience with Appointments Committees of Parliament are as follows: In 1993, my nomination to be a Minister in the first democratic government of the Fourth Republic had to be withdrawn because some NDC MPs believed I was not a registered voter. In 1997 and 2014, all NPP MPs reported voted against my nomination as Minister, because they were whipped into those positions by their party leadership,” Spio Garbrah recounted.
“So being currently the most vetted candidate for a ministerial position in Ghana, I can only hope that our MPs will let God and their good conscience be their guide.”
The NDC currently enjoys sway on the Appointments Committee with the party having 13 MPs equaling the NPP’s members on that Committee. However, the NDC will have a majority voice in that committee because the Chairman of the Committee Joe Osei Wusu, who is from the NPP side is barred from voting, except there is a tie.
According to Parliament’s Standing Orders, a vetted candidate needs at least 50% of the votes of the committee members to be passed through. Yet, the NPP does not have that number on the committee and would require the benevolence of the NDC.
If all NDC MPs vote against a given nominee, he or she will be rejected and President Akufo Addo would be forced to find a replacement.