Deputy Majority Leader and Papa Owusu at war over absence of Finance Minister
December 16, 2010
Accra, Dec 16, GNA - The continuous absence of the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in the house during debates for the approval of appropriation bills resulted in a confrontation between Papa Owusu Ankomah, New Patriotic Party Member for Sekondi, and Mr Rashid Pelpuo, Deputy Majority Leader and NDC member for Wa Central.
Papa Owusu Ankomah, who was the first to raise the same issue about the absence of the Finance Minister on Friday December 10, 2010 causing the adjournment of business, again realized that the Finance Minister was absent when it was time for the Minister to move the motion for the approval of the sector Ministry's budgetary allocation.
Though the Deputy Minister, Mr Seth Terkpeh was present, Papa Owusu Ankomah angrily reacted to the call on the Deputy to move the motion on behalf of the substantive Minister.
Mr Rashid Pelpuo in an answer said, the Minister was attending a meeting adding it was not all the time that Ministers could be present in the House. "So if he is not here we crave the Minority's indulgence to accept the fact that when Ministers are not here the Deputies should act."
Papa Owusu did not agree to this, saying government business was done by the majority, and that the minority were trying to make government responsible.
Mr Pelpuo noted that the complaint about the Ministers' absenteeism was everywhere on the internet and did not augur well for the image of the House.
Mr Ambrose Dery, Deputy Minority Leader said there was nothing wrong if the Minority reminded the House that Ministers should be serious. He said the minority would continue to insist that Ministers came to the house except when they had travelled elsewhere on official business.
The Speaker, Mrs Bamford Addo, told the Deputy Majority Leader that Ministers were required to be in the house when they were listed on the order paper.
Meanwhile, other Ministerial budgetary allocations have been approved for the year ending 31st December 2011. They include the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health.