Ministers-Designates not President’s representatives – Minority

Minority Caucus

The National Democratic Congress () Parliamentary Minority has advised ministers-designate not to hold themselves as representatives of the President as directed by the Chief of Staff. 

The Minority said it took strong exception to the temporal appointment of “beleaguered” ministers-designate waiting for parliamentary approval as “Representatives of the President” by the Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare. 

There was no provision within the 1992 Constitution that supported the creation of representatives of the President, a statement sighted by The Ghanaian Standard, signed by Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, the NDC MP for Juaboso and Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, said.  

“On Monday, April 29, the Minority in and the Ghanaian public at large were utterly shocked to see the Minister-designate for Health going on an announced inspection tour of health facilities as though his appointment as Minister was complete,” it said. 

The statement noted that the Health Minister-Deisignate was said to have received a letter from the Chief of Staff purporting to have appointed him as the Representative of the President to the Health Ministry. 

“Therefore, for a highly regulated power centre such as the Presidency, it was ultra vires for the Chief of Staff who derives all her powers from the President as prescribed by the 1992 constitution to be creating new offices alien to the Constitution,” it said. 

“For all intents and purposes, a Minister, in addition to the power and authority granted same by the constitutional instrument of office… is the representative of the President in whichever ministry he/she finds him/herself.” 

“It is, therefore, ultra vires for the Chief of Staff to ascribe a primary function of a Minister to a person not so appointed.” 

The statement referenced Article 78(1) of the 1992 Constitution, which states: “Ministers of State shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of Parliament….” 

“This clearly indicates that the appointment process could only occur after approval of Parliament.” 

It was, therefore, illegal for any person to hold himself out as a Representative of the President to a Ministry exercising any form of executive authority of superintending, overseeing, directing, or controlling state institutions in the name of the President.  

“It was for this reason that a Minister appointed to another ministry and clothed with the constitutional instrument of office was directed by the President to act as ‘caretaker' Minister”. 

The President's Representative to the was Mrs Ekuful, the Minister for Communications and Digitalization, “who is currently acting as the caretaker-minister for the Ministry of Health, and not Dr Okoe Boye,” the statement noted. 

The Minority, therefore, advised the Chief of Staff to revoke all illegal appointments of Minister-designates as Representatives of the President. 

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