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20.12.2004 General News

Who Will be In The President’s New Line Up?

By Accra Daily Mail.

The President held his last cabinet meeting last Thursday for the first term of office as President of the Republic of Ghana.

All ministers at the meeting had become caretakers since their terms had elapsed and were expected to resign.

However, they will stay in office until the president appoints new replacements.

It is expected that the president will form a new cabinet shortly after he has been sworn-in to assume his second term of office on Januaury 7, 2005.

At the last cabinet session was the Vice President Alaji Aliu Mahama, Senior Minister J.H. Mensah, Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani.

The ministers present include Madam Cecelia Bannerman (Mines), Mt Jake Obetsebi Lamptey (Tourism and Modernisation of capital), Nana Akuffo Addo (Foreign Affairs), and Hackman Owusu Agyeman (Interior) and Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor (Defence)

The rest are Major (rtd)Courage Quashiga (Agriculture), Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris (Works and Housing), Yaw Osafo Marfo (Finance and Economic Planning), Dr Richard Anane (Roads and Transport), Dr Kwake Afriyie (Health), Prof Ameyaw Ekumfi (Harbours), Kwadwo Baah Wiredu (Education), Madam Gladys Asmah (Women and Children's Affairs), Prof Fobi (Lands and Forestry), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom (Energy), Paapa Owusu Ankoma (AG and Justice), Yaw Barimah (Employment and Productivity), Albert Kan-Dapaah (Communications) and Nana Akomea (Information).

The president had not yet given any indication as to whom he will be jettisoning and who will be retaining.

The rush for many ministers to contest parliamentary elections was so that they would be well placed to be reconsidered for ministerial appointment.

A source close to the presidency disclosed that the president is playing his cards very close to his chest, but there would be many faces as well as some old ones.

Public expectation is that the president would 'reward' the Central region with juicy appointment for the ringing endorsement the region gave him in the elections.

It is not clear how it would reflect in his choice of ministers and cabinet.

Speculations about the future of such heavy weight like Nana Akuffo Addo, Osafo Maafo, Hackman Owusu Agyeman and the president's brother Dr Addo Kuffuor seem to suggest to seem that the president would have to weigh his options very carefully.

Works and Housing Minister Mustpha Ali Iddris, who would have been retained and even possibly be 'promoted', now has his political future hanging in the balance for not being able to hold on to the Tamale South seat as MP.

But the shining star of the Northern Region Hajia Alima Mahama, having won her seat from Mamprusi land is expected to go far.

Christine Churcher, the feisty MP for Cape Coast is being counted as some one to be watched in the next cabinet.

Though the Speaker of Parliament's appointment is at the pleasure of the members of the house, it looks like current speaker Peter Ala Adjetey has already booked his place in the next parliament, but the Gas are also said to be salivating because of their relatively good showing at the polls.

The President's balancing act would be expected to take in the ethnic, religious and gender differences.

The next line up would be selected with an eye to leaving a legacy of unity in diversity.

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