[ 2012-08-06 ]
Amissah-Arthur faces parliament Monday
History beacons the country on Monday as the
vice-presidential nominee, Mr Kwesi Bekoe
Amissah-Arthur, appears before the Appointments
Committee of Parliament to prove his eligibility
for the job.
Monday’s exercise is a major landmark because it
is the first time a President of the land is
seeking parliamentary approval for his vice.
Since I992 and on previous occasions, presidential
candidates of the various political parties have
nominated their running mates, who, in the event
of that candidate winning the election, become the
Vice-President of the country.
In contemporary Ghana, the country has not
experienced a situation where a sitting President
has died in office.
However, the Constitution has made adequate
provision for such eventualities, and when it
happened on Tuesday, July 24, 20I2, Ghana was not
Article 60 (6) of the Constitution provides that,
“Whenever the President dies, resigns or is
removed from office, the Vice-President shall
assume office as President for the unexpired term
of office of the President with effect from the
date of the death, resignation or removal of the
After the then Vice-President, Mr John Dramani
Mahama, was thus sworn in as the President on July
24, 20I2, he nominated Mr Amissah-Arthur to fill
the vacant position in accordance with the
Article 60 clause 10 provides that, “The
Vice-President shall upon assuming office as
President under clause (6) of this article,
nominate a person to the office of Vice-President
subject to approval of Parliament”
The attention of Ghanaians will, therefore, be
focused on Parliament to wait for the outcome of
The Appointments Committee is composed of the
First Deputy Speaker of Parliament as the Chairman
with not more than 25 other members of Parliament
In the current Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho,
the First Deputy Speaker, is the chairman while
the Deputy Majority Leader, Alhaji Abdul Rashid
Pelpuo, is the vice chairman of the committee.
The Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is
the Ranking Member of the committee while the
Deputy Minority Leader, Mr Ambrose Dery is the
Deputy Ranking Member of the committee.
The duty of the committee is to vet and recommend
to Parliament for approval or otherwise persons
nominated by the President for appointment as
ministers of state, deputy ministers, members of
the Council of State, the Chief Justice and other
justices of the Supreme Court, as well as other
persons specified under the Constitution or under
Standing Order I72 (3) stipulates that the names
of persons nominated for appointment shall be
published and the proceedings of the committee
shall be public.
The committee in most cases has recommended
nominees to the plenary for approval by consensus
or by a majority decision.
In few cases, the committee has also recommended
to the House not to approve some nominations,
especially, when it has found out during the
vetting exercise that such nominees had dual
nationality or were not registered voters.
Even though members of the committee have the
right to ask questions, the chairman sometimes
rules out some questions which he deems not
There have been some occasions that preparation of
the Curriculum Vitae (CV) of some nominees has
given them up. The NPP MP for Techiman North,
Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, has
speciality in pointing out flaws in CVs.
After a preliminary meeting of the committee, Mr
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told graphic.com.gh that
members would be circumspect in dealing with Mr
Amissah-Arthur because of the high office he was
expected to occupy.
Already, the committee has placed adverts in the
various media inviting the general public to
submit memoranda to assist it in examining the
Indications are that Mr Amissah-Arthur will be
sworn in Monday by the Chief Justice, Theodora
Georgina Wood, should his nomination receive
The committee will set aside its rules and present
its report to the House for consideration the same
Commenting on the Business Statement of Parliament
for this week, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, gave an
indication that “the Vice-President could be sworn
in to enable him to adequately prepare for the
funeral of the late President Mills”, which begins
on Wednesday, August 8, 20I2.
It is expected that the Speaker’s Conference Hall,
which is the venue for the public sittings of the
Appointments Committee, will be filled to capacity
as family members, NDC faithful, the press and a
cross-section of the populace will throng the
venue to be part of this historic occasion.
The attendance could present challenges to
security personnel who will be assigned to
maintain law and order at the Parliament House.
Source - Daily Graphic
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