"Akufo-Addo Hasn't Consulted Parliament On Nomination Of Council Of State Appointees" – Alban Bagbin
Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has stated that he did not receive any communication from the President prior to the release of the 11 appointees nominated for the Council of State yesterday.
This, he stated constitutes a breach of Articles 89(2) of the 1992 Constitution. This follows the publication of some names for appointments unto the Council of State by the Acting Director of Communications at the Presidency released a statement Monday detailing the names of appointees to the Council.
The names on the list include former Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, former Chief of Defence Staff General J. B. Danquah and former Inspector General of Police Nana Owusu Nsiah among others. But before the commencement of public business in the House on Tuesday, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu indicated that the statement from the Communication Directorate is an aberration of the Constitution as no such consultations had been done with Parliament.
Citing 89(2) which states that “The Council of State shall consist of a) following persons appointed by the President in consultation with Parliament”, the Tamale South MP stressed that appointments of this nature is a shared responsibility between the Executive and Legislative arms of government.
“… But Mr Speaker, no formal communication from the President, yet there is announcement in the air. We can’t follow those announcements. “So Mr Speaker, the President’s handlers must know that before they go to the media, you are officially notified. The purpose of this House is to know the important decisions the President is taking so that the President can work with Parliament as an arm of government,” he said. However, Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markins disagreed with his colleague on the other side’s position.
He argued that the Executive does not seek to undermine the authority of Parliament as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs insinuate.
The Effutu MP further asked: “Is the consultation so to mean a formal letter to you [the Speaker] or an engagement? Since in any event the provision the Article further states individuals who can be appointed to the Council of State,” he stated. After listening to the argument on the floor, Mr Bagbin confirmed that indeed the President has not consulted him, as the leader of the House concerning the names that have been published.
In that regard, he announced that a message will be conveyed to the Office of the President for the appropriate thing to be done. “The Speaker is not Parliament, if there has been any such practice, I will not follow a wrong practice. The consultation is supposed to be with Parliament and you chaired by the Speaker constitute Parliament and so even if there is a communication in whatever form to me even if it’s verbal, I would have to convey it to you.
“I have not received any communication from the President in this respect. Neither verbal nor written, formal or informal. And so the Minority Leader is right in drawing the attention of the House to this, and I will direct that this be conveyed to the Office of the President that the proper thing is done,” he said.