Appointments Committee Parliament dreads vetting of Akufo-Addo’s 54 ministers in 6 days

The president has previously said he is ‘in a hurry’ to fulfil his promises and as such he would be unhappy if the Appointments Committee is unable to vet his ministers before the house rises.

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The Parliament of Ghana has been left with the arduous task of vetting 54 ministerial nominees in the space of six days.

This is because the legislature is set to rise at the end of the March and resume sitting later in May 2017.

Earlier this week, the president presented another list of ministerial nominees for consideration by members of Parliament, bring the total number of ministers and their deputies in this administration to 110.

 

That figure is the largest the country has ever witnessed.

The president’s nominees include members of the Appointments Committee itself, which is responsible for vetting ministerial nominees, a situation which has in the past raised concerns about conflict of interest. They include Adwoa Safo, the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya and Anthony Karbo, the Member of Parliament for Lawra.

After vetting, the names of the ministerial nominees would then be put forward to the house for a vote. Although the president does not risk any of his nominees not passing through - because his party has is in the majority- it is unclear if the Appointments Committee can handle 54 interviews in six days. 

The president has previously said he is ‘in a hurry’ to fulfil his promises and as such he would be unhappy if the Appointments Committee is unable to vet his ministers before the house rises.

Failure to do so would leave the new government without a large portion of its ‘army’ for more than a month.

The vetting sessions, which are televised, can last for hours at a time per nominee. The vetting of the Minister of Finance lasted over four hours.

Analysis

The government has been fumbling in its bid to convince Ghanaians that it indeed needs 110 ministers. While in opposition, it criticised President John Mahama for the size of its administration.

The Minister of Information, Mustapha Hamid has said in interviews that the government did not promise a lean government during the campaign but an efficient one. According to him, the problems of the country meant that there was the need for a strong and ‘competent army’.

Meanwhile, many ordinary Ghanaians have not taken kindly to their explanations with some questioning if this was ‘the change’ the new government promised while in opposition.

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