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11.02.2005 General News

Confirmation Of Nominees Is Mockery Of Democracy -Bagbin

By GhanaWeb Correspondent
Confirmation Of Nominees Is Mockery Of Democracy -Bagbin
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Accra, Feb 10, GNA - Mr Alban Bagbin, the Minority Leader, on Thursday described the secret voting that took place in Parliament to approve three ministerial nominees as " a mockery of democracy." Reacting to the walk out by the minority just before the voting took place, he said the Speaker had originally ruled that members should leave their seats and walk up to the Dispatch Box to pick a ballot paper and vote there before retuning to their seats to ensure that the voting was secret and transparent. This ruling, Mr Bagbin told the press, did not go down well with the Majority side and therefore the Speaker asked that the Minority and Majority leaders should consult on the matter and report back. Mr Bagbin said after the consultations the Majority Leader, Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, insisted that voting should be done right where members where seated. He said the Speaker changed his earlier ruling to support the position of the Majority side by ruling that members should rather check their names at the Box, pick a ballot paper and then return to their seats to vote. Mr Bagbin said the Speaker's ruling was "flier in the face" and therefore the Minority had no choice but to walk out. In answer to a question as the performance of the Speaker with regards to his wavering stance, Mr Bagbin said it was too early to pass judgement on the Speaker's performance adding, "we will allow him to settle down."
The Minority Leader said the issue at stake was of national importance involving the suitability and credibility of ministers who would be handling state resources. He said there were issues raised over the honesty and integrity of some documents brought before the Appointments Committee and therefore there was the need for thorough investigations.
Earlier, the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Freddy Blay, had moved the motion for the House to approve the nomination of Dr Richard Anane, as Road Transport Minister, Sheik I.C. Quaye as Greater Accra Regional Minister and Mr Isaac Edumadze, as Central Regional Minister. Mr Bagbin called on the House to reject the adoption of the motion, saying there was the need for further investigation into the allegations against the nominees and that the Committee's report was incomplete.

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