Environment Minister, Mahama Ayariga, has dismissed concerns by the incoming administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the outgoing president is taking rash decisions designed to tie the hands of the new government.
He has stressed that President John Mahama will not be cowered into restraining himself in the exercise of his powers even if he has 16 days to leave office.
The government has since last week, been fending off criticisms from the NPP that it has been acting in bad faith since it lost power in the December 7 polls.
After complaining about the dishing out of last-minute contracts, appointments into public and civil services, the NPP appears to have escalated its complaints as high profile appointments are made by the President.
Although the NPP has warned that it could review all last minute contracts and appointments, the President's latest appointments are not subject to review. The 1992 constitution guarantees security of tenure of the appointees.
President Mahama Tuesday swore in Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal as the new head of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and Josephine Nkrumah to head the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
With NPP warnings have failed, the party appears to have escalated its complaint. There is a court suit filed by a defeated NPP Parliamentary candidate Philip Addison who is challenging the President's exercise of his powers.
"No law violated, no constitution violated. It does not violate the Transition Act", the Environment Minister defended on Joy FM's Super Morning Show.
The NPP is peeved and believes that the decisions smack of bad faith because there was 'a gentleman's agreement' with the government that is will be consulted on some sensitive decisions.
“It is the view of the President-Elect’s team, that these appointments coming barely 24 Hours after the agreement and less than three weeks away from the inauguration of the incoming President is most disappointing and exhibits bad faith,” said a statement signed by Yaw Osafo Marfo, spokesperson for president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo on the joint transition.
Mahama Ayariga disputes any such agreement was reached between the two transition teams. "You can't just go to a committee meeting and whittle down [the President's] power", he said.
The Bawku Central MP said he can only testify that at the meeting of the transition teams, 'there was an agreement to engage'.
He said he believes that these engagements are "in tiers". There are some areas where the President and his government will 'engage' and others it will not.
Photo: IMANI Vice-President Kofi Bentil and out-going minister Mahama Ayariga
"So if you feel like engaging, you do, if you feel like you can go ahead and exercise your powers as set out in the constitution, you go ahead," he emphasized.
The decision to appoint the two heads falls in the category of those which do not merit any consultations, he stressed.
He explained that President Mahama is going according to the letter of the constitution and not the spirit.
"If we start looking for the spirit we will find so many spirits…. You will see the spirit in the direction of Mecca, somebody will see the spirit in the direction of Israel", he laughed.
Vice-President of IMANI Ghana, a think-tank, rejected Mahama Ayariga's claim that there was no agreement between the two teams to consult.
"I can say for a fact that there was an agreement between the parties to consult each other…I think that they have at least breached a gentleman's agreement".
He said while it is within the president's powers to appoint, the country is not run entirely on law but also on conventions.
"A simple phone call, could have done a lot", Kofi Bentil said.
- Court issues warrant for arrest of Sosu
- I was enjoying the display of ignorance by Mpraeso MP – Asiedu Nketia
- Cedi under intense pressure; ranked among African currencies with ‘Worst Spot Returns’ – Bloomberg
- Didier Drogba hosts tonight’s Ballon d’Or event
- Reform of legal education system necessary to accommodate current realities – Akufo-Addo
- ‘It is very difficult and trying times for family of missing Lands Commission staff’ – Lawyer
- 25 illegal Ghanaian residents in Germany to be repatriated
- Ebo Whyte’s ‘The Secret Code of Wives’ gives meaning to the saying ‘after God, fear women’
- ‘A job is much more than an income, it is a key to dignity, self-reliance and empowerment’ – Duffuor
- Playback: Public hearing of LGBTQI+ bill underway
Education, sustainable and inclusive development crucial to Zongo Development Fund
Focas wins Africa Youth in Tourism Innovation award in Rwanda
Piracy in Gulf of Guinea alarming – Danish PM
Tesah Capital launches Ghana’s first risk-free collective investment scheme
Alhassan Andani, Joyce Aryee join FHMS Endowment Fund Board of Trustees
Majority and Minority meet jointly and separately ahead of ‘fresh discussions’ on 2022 budget
Sandra Owusu-Ansah gets Puskas award nomination
Ghana Health Policy Dialogue 2021 focuses on referral system and elderly care
Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi wins award as best player in world football for seventh time
Ballon d’Or 2021: Robert Lewandowski named striker of the year; Pedri wins Kopa Trophy award
Playback: PM Express discusses 2022 budget rejection
Implementing E-levy amounts to double taxation – Duffuor to government
93.3% of homosexuals learn it – CEO of Mental Health Authority
Ghana is not a secular state – Sam George
‘Our Bill does not criminalise adultery and fornication’ – Dafeamekpor