The Deputy Majority Whip in Parliament, Habib Iddrisu, has described the Minority’s decision to boycott the debate and approval process for four deputy minister-nominees as a betrayal.
He said the Minority has no justification for walking out of parliament in protest on Wednesday, June 23, while the House considered the report of the Appointments Committee on the four nominees, following their vetting.
According to the Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee had been unfair to the Minority and sidelined them by proceeding with the vetting of the four nominees, even though the Speaker of Parliament had ruled that such an activity should not be held on the occasion of Green Ghana Day.
The nominees in question are the Deputy Attorney General, Diana Asonaba Dapaah; the Deputy Local Government Minister, Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah; the Deputy Sanitation Minister, Amidu Chinia and the Deputy Gender Minister, Zuweira Abudu.
But according to Mr. Iddrisu, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Tolon Constituency, the Speaker of Parliament did not specifically say committees could not sit on that day.
He said the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei Owusu, held a meeting the night before the vetting, and it was agreed at that meeting that the vetting should go ahead.
“[The] committee was not categorically asked not to sit. The Committee Chairman had a briefing on Thursday to assess whether the next day, the committee would sit or not, and it was agreed that the committee would sit. So when they appeared the next day, the Minority did not turn up. [The MPs who were present] formed a quorum and went on to vet the deputy ministers. Today, the report was delayed, and they said because they didn’t participate, they want to walk out,” the Member of Parliament said.
He said the Majority side of Parliament has always called for consensus building, and it was shocking that after initially indicating that they only wanted the committee’s report to state that they did not participate in the vetting, the Minority went on to walk out of parliament.
“It comes as a surprise because we didn’t have an indication that the Minority was not going to be part of it [the debate]. The only thing they had said to the Appointments Committee chairman was that it should be captured in the report of the day that when the four deputy ministers were being vetted, they were not part of it, and that was duly captured in the report. The walkout is actually a betrayal to us and a big surprise to us. We did not expect that,” he said.
Joe Osei Owusu explains why the Appointments Committee sat on ‘Green Ghana Day’
The Chairman of Parliament’s Appointments Committee, and First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, has already explained why the Appointments Committee sat on Friday, June 11, 2021, despite a directive for parliamentarians to go to their constituencies to plant trees.
In an Eyewitness News interview, Mr. Osei Owusu said “I was informed by the Minority Leader that the leadership of Parliament had decided that Parliament will not sit on Friday, but soon after that, the Majority Leader informed me that the Appointments Committee will be sitting, I was not in the Chamber, so I did not know what was announced.”
He dispelled claims that members on the minority side of the committee opposed the decision to vet Mr. Adjei-Mensah Korsah, and boycotted the sitting because their objections were overruled.