Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has vowed to stop the President, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo from appointing Members of Parliament to serve on boards of State Institutions.
Many of the Members of Parliament belonging to the Majority are sitting on boards of public institutions, some are even occupying positions such as chairpersons of those boards.
According to the speaker, such a practice breeds what he calls patronage which makes it difficult for the Members of Parliament especially from the majority side to be critical of the executive.
Speaking after swearing in newly elected executives of the Parliamentary Press Corps, on Monday, Speaker 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 always has a lot of the members bought by the Executive through patronage. They are made Chairs of Boards, members of Boards, Chief Executive of some institutions and they are Members of Parliament. So how can you come and criticize the same thing you are involved in? That is political patronage and we are going to look critically into the Constitutional provisions to make sure that we don’t allow this to continue.”
He added: “It is not part of the concept we have in the 1992 Constitution and it is clear in the constitution that for you to hold an office of profit, you need a certification from the Speaker.
The Right Hon. Speaker further questioned, “But who are the Speakers when usually the Presidents breathe over their shoulders and when they have a large majority pushing them behind to do what they think is right for them to do?”
Finally, he stated that he is not on that pleasure and that he can sail his own boat and he actually intends to do that.
According to Right Honourable Alban Bagbin, before anybody is given such an appointment, the Speaker must issue a certificate to that effect.
“It is not just for the President to just sit and dictate and co-opt everybody and leave Parliament with only the minority to rather be critical of the government’s actions and inactions. That is not helpful to our democracy and we have to crack the whip on this matter.” He said lamented.