Cabinet Ministers Bloated
The Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament yesterday raised an alarm that President John Mahama could be in a serious breach of the 1992 Constitution.
It referred to the official Hansard of February 3 this year and indicated that the new Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, had been made a cabinet minister, bringing the number to 20 instead of a maximum of 19 mandated by the Constitution.
The MP for Effutu, Alex Afenyo- Markin, who on behalf of the Minority raised the issue on the floor of the house yesterday, drew the attention of the speaker to the serious breach of the Constitution and called for a clarification on the matter.
The Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, acknowledged the constitutionality of the matter and pleaded with the Effutu MP for a clarification to be sought by the next sitting on Tuesday, February 10.
“I think it might be a mistake by the Hansard Department so let us wait for proper clarification from the presidency before the matter could be discussed,” he said, assuring the Effutu MP that he would give him some time to make his comment on the matter at the next sitting since it borders on the Constitution.
The Majority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, did not understand why the minority member should bring the matter up when the Hansard of February 3 had already been looked at under the “Votes and Proceedings.”
The speaker however said since the issue borders on the Constitution, the MP for Effutu did not err in bringing it up since all MPs as well as the speaker are bound by the Constitution.
The cabinet ministers, as given by the information in the February 3 Hansard, are Seth Terkper, Finance; Hannah Tetteh, Foreign Affairs; Benjamin Kunbuor, Defence; Ekwow Spio- Garbrah, Trade and Industry; Prof Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Education; Inusah Fuseini, Roads and Highways; Fiifi Kwetey, Food and Agriculture; Dzifa Attivor, Transport; Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, Health; Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Petroleum and Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, Attorney- General and Minister for Justice.
The rest are Julius Debrah, Local Government and Rural Development; Collins Dauda, Water Resources, Works and Housing; Nii Osah Mill, Lands and Natural Resources; Mark Woyongo, Interior; Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation; Nana Oye Lithur, Gender, Children and Social Protection; Haruna Iddrisu, Employment and Labour Relations; Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, Communications and Dr Kwabena Donkor, Power.
Non cabinet ministers include Mrs Ofosu-Agyare, Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts; Mahama Ayariga, Youth and Sports; Sherry Ayittey, Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and Dr Seidu Daanaa, Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs.
The NPP MP for New Juaben South, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, had drawn the attention of DAILY GUIDE to the breach before the matter was raised on the floor, stressing that it demonstrates how the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government is confused and that he was not surprised that there is total breakdown of order at the Flagstaff House.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr.