The Member of Parliament for Sunyani East constituency and Majority Chief Whip, Kwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh, has downplayed suggestions that the appointment of more than 50 majority Members of Parliament to serve as substantive ministers and deputies in the Akufo-Addo government, will affect the work of the caucus.
According to him, the non-minister MPs of the majority side have the capabilities to handle the affairs of the caucus.
Some civil society organizations have expressed concern that parliament’s oversight duties will be greatly hampered following the appointment of about 64 Members of Parliament by President Akufo-Addo to serve to as ministers and deputy ministers in his government.
Some of those appointed include chairpersons of various committees in parliament, increasing public anxiety over the effectiveness of the legislative body as past record showed that Members of Parliament who doubled as Ministers of state often did not report to parliament and were not often engaged in parliamentary business. But according to the Chief Whip, the development will not have any negative impact on the work of parliament. “Why are they quick in judging us that because a good number of MPs have been made ministers we cannot perform?…,” he quizzed.
Mr. Ameyaw Cheremeh said the there were very competent people in the majority who could take over the roles of the MPs who had been appointed to serve as ministers. “Everyone one of us is capable of leading. The fact that I am a chairman or majority chief whip today doesn’t mean there is nobody who can assume that role [if I’m not available]. Yes, some chairpersons have been taken out and made deputy ministers, but there are equally good or even better people to take over,” he said .
The Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, in a previous interview with Citi News raised questions as to why the president would appoint a lot of the most experienced Members of Parliament to serve in parliament, to the detriment of the house.
He lamented, “Just look at what has happened. They’ve just swept all the committee chairpersons, weakening oversight,” “I’m not saying in any way that those who are left are not competent but if you have taken all the crème, you are now leaving the house with first timers, people who are really not very experienced to chair committees and you expect parliament to be stronger?,” he questioned.
Civil Society Group, Odekro, recently suggested that the appointment of thirty-eight experienced parliamentarians as Ministers, would weaken the law making House’s leadership. It said the engagement of the Majority MPs in the executive will weaken the powers of the NPP MPs to hold the Executive arm of government accountable.