Ministerial appointment Prez must stop picking ministers from Parliament - Majority Leader

Alban Bagbin has advised President John Mahama to stop appointing parliamentarians as ministers.

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Majority leader, Alban Bagbin play

Majority leader, Alban Bagbin

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Majority Leader, Alban S.K Bagbin says Ghana's constitution must be amended to prohibit the President from appointing his ministers from Parliament.

The situation, he said, has led to Parliament's undermining the work of the legislature.

According to him, Parliament was unable to exercise its oversight functions effectively when some Members of Parliament are with the executive branch of Government.

The Nadowli/Kaleo MP wants the constitution amended immediately. He was speaking at a forum organized by the National Commission on Civic Education in Accra.

He said there was urgent need for a strict separation of powers between the legislature and the executive and the current arrangement is inimical to that principle.

Mr. Bagbin also endorsed the NCCE's research findings indicating Parliament was doing a woeful job in keeping the Executive arm of Government in check..

Speaking to the research results, he said Parliament was structured to create consensus not to battle the executive.

The spirit of this consensus building mechanism was even displayed in Parliament’s horseshoe sitting arrangement, the Nadowli/Kaleo MP said.

MPs are “not called upon to be at the throat of the executive”, he pointed out, noting that the majority of ministers appointed by the President are also MPs.

According to the constitution, Parliament cannot make bills or pass a law on its own that will require a charge on the Consolidated Fund.

Citing an example, the experienced legislator said a Bill on funding for political parties prepared by a private citizen "never saw the light of day" because the Executive would not allow it.

Parliament depends on the Executive for funding the work of its committees, he lamented.

“What power is this? They give you with the right hand take with the left”, he said, doubting the ability of Parliament to check the Executive.

Referring to the NCCE research, Alban Bagbin said it was fair that 5% of the 2,900 respondents viewed Parliament as performing poorly in serving as a check on the Executive.

Minority Chief Whip, Ignatius Baffour Awuah agreed with the Majority leader and the research findings on the effectiveness of Parliament in the execution of its oversight duties.

"It is quite objective, we have to accept it with humility", the Sunyani West MP said.

Source: Myjoyonline

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