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03.06.2006 Politics

Deputy Minister nominee disqualified


Parliament's Appointments Committee has disqualified the deputy ministerial nominee for the Ashanti Region for holding dual citizenship.

Lawrence Akwasi Agyeman Prempeh holds both Ghanaian and American citizenship.

The committee has rejected his nomination in accordance with the 1992 Constitution, which bars prospective members of parliament and ministers from holding dual citizenship.

The JOYFM Parliamentary correspondent Bennet Frimpong reports that when the nominee appeared before the Vetting committee, the MP for Sene, Twumasi Appiah asked him if he holds any other citizenship

Mr. Prempeh replied: “I do. I have Ghanaian citizenship and American Citizenship”

The MP further stressed the question but owing to some agitation among some majority NPP MPs on the committee, the nominee answered no to the question.

Mr. Twumasi Appiah then reminded him of the oath he had sworn before the committee and then went ahead to ask the question again.

This time the nominee answered he holds a dual citizenship but added it did not bar him from taking the position.

But Article 79, 2 of the 1992 Constitution says to qualify for the post of a deputy minister, the nominee needs to be a Member of Parliament or qualifies to be one.

Article 94, 2(a) however says one does not qualify to be elected as a Member of Parliament if the person holds allegiance to another country.

So the committee members at a close door sitting agreed that Mr. Agyeman Prempeh is thus disqualified on those grounds and the President would have to make another nomination.

The Committee would forward its report to Parliament for approval next week.

Mr. Agyeman Prempeh is currently the NPP constituency chairman for Oforikrom in Kumasi.

He is also the National Coordinator of the District Industries Programme under the Ministry of Trade and Industries.

His nomination as deputy minister of Ashanti region sparked some controversy in Kumasi with some arguing that he was not the man for the job now.