By Papisdaff Abdullah
The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Kingsford S. Bagbin, has called out President Akufo-Addo for appointing MPs to Board positions without his consent. Many MPs from the majority group are sitting on boards of public institutions with some even serving as chairpersons.
According to the speaker, such development breeds what he calls patronage which makes it difficult for MPs especially from the majority side to be critical of the executive. Speaking after swearing in newly elected executives of the Parliamentary Press Corps, Bagbin disclosed that President Akufo-Addo will henceforth be required to seek clearance from the speaker as dictated by the constitution before such appointments are made.
“In Parliament today, the governing party has a lot of the members through patronage. They are made chairs of boards, members of boards, and chief executives of some institutions but they are members of parliament, so how can you come and criticize the same thing that you are involved in.
“That is patronage, political patronage and we are going to look critically into our constitutional provisions to make sure that we don’t allow this to continue…it is clear in the constitution that for you to hold an office you need a certification from the Speaker…before anybody is given that appointment the Speaker must give a certificate, it is not just for the president to sit there and dictate and co-opt everybody and leave parliament with only the minority to rather be critical of government actions and inactions. That is not helpful to our democracy and we have to crack the whip on this matter”