The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, has served notice that the caucus will block the approval of Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah as a Deputy Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development.
He said the caucus’ decision is based on incidents of violence that led to the death of two persons in the Techiman South Constituency during the 2020 polls.
He said the violence “gave him [Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah] the unclear opportunity to be MP” hence their stance.
“In respect of conscience, the Minority will stand en bloc against him [his approval],” Haruna Iddrisu said on Eyewitness News on Friday, June 11, 2021.
He told host Umaru Sanda Amadu that the State must investigate the violence and bring to book the perpetrators of the act.
“The Minority holds a strong view that government must wake up and investigate the killings in Techiman South and bring the perpetrators to book, and we take strong reservations to it. I heard some comments that the honourable member [Mr. Korsah] is taking some responsibility to address the issue. He is not the State,” Haruna Iddrisu said.
The Minority Caucus was not present during the vetting of the nominee on Friday, June 11, 2021, except one of them.
According to Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority was determined to boycott Mr. Adjei-Mensah Korsah’s vetting due to the Techiman South election violence, however, their absence was largely due to communication that Parliament was not sitting on Friday to enable all MPs to go to their constituencies to plant trees as part of the Green Ghana campaign.
“We were determined to boycott the vetting of Adjei-Mensah Korsah as Deputy Minister proposed to Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Ministry to protest the fact that he is associated with the procurement of the seat via violence facilitated and assisted by state security agencies in the December 7 elections which violence denied the NDC of a parliamentary majority,” he said.
He added that his side made a case that the sitting on Friday be deferred to Monday since most MPs will not be available, but it appeared the majority side did not consider their proposal, hence decided to carry out the vetting on Friday without his side.
“The Majority Leader insisted that there will be a hearing on Friday and I said the hearing should be deferred to Monday to allow us to move to our constituencies… So it is a question of they not wanting to yield [to our request] because I suggested we could do this on Monday and probably increase the number. He didn’t get back to me and that is the reason why you didn’t find us there [at the vetting],” he added.
Chairman of Appointments Committee speaks
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joseph Osei Owusu, has been explaining why the committee decided to carry on with the vetting despite an earlier directive from the Speaker of Parliament.
“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 chambers, so I did not know what was announced.”
“At the end of the day’s proceedings, members of the Appointments Committee had a sitting and considered that the programme had been advertised, and some nominees travelled from afar, so it will be unfair to change the programme at that last minute. In any case, not many of the members of the committee could travel to their constituencies, considering the time the day’s business ended. So we decided to go ahead with the vetting,” he added.