The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has expressed concern that the integrity of Parliament could be compromised by the appointments of some influential members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the office of the Speaker, Alban Bagbin.
According to him, there has been “one too many” NDC members, who have been recruited by the Speaker of Parliament, to serve as advisors in his office, which do not augur well for the wholeness of Parliament as an institution that is struggling to assert its authority.
Speaking on Joy News, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who doubles as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, said he was convinced the Speaker was gradually turning Parliament into an NDC conclave.
“He has brought in Kofi Attor, who is the Vice-Chairman of the party (NDC), as an advisor. He has also brought in two former MPs. He says he is bringing them on as advisors. Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the party, is now on the Parliamentary Service Board and then, Gayheart Mensah is also coming to the Speaker’s office,” he pointed out.
He indicated that the move would be a tough challenge for the rectitude of the legislative house.
“There is one other guy whose name I have forgotten. He was a usual panel at Radio Gold. I understand he wants to make him his Communications Officer. So you are turning that place into an enclave for the NDC,” the Majority Leader stressed.
He said he was particularly unhappy with the appointment of Mr. Johnson Aseidu Nketia to the Parliamentary Service Board because of his current position as the General Secretary of the opposition party.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained that even though he had nothing against the person of Mr. Aseidu Nketia, but his position as the Chief Scribe made his appointment problematic, adding that “it has never happened before in the life of Parliament, especially when you have a very intrusive General Secretary. Even in the course of the normal business of Parliament, he will come and sit there to ensure that his people vote in a certain direction.”
“He is an intelligent person and maybe if he has to contribute to developing Parliament he could. My worry is his current position as the General Secretary. I am afraid for Parliament. These are the little steps we take that affect the integrity of Parliament,” he intimated.
The Speaker, Alban Bagbin, for his part, had stoutly defended the appointment of General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the Parliamentary Service Board.
According to the Speaker, Asiedu Nketia’s appointment to the board would not amount to any undesired intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party as envisaged by the Majority Leader, arguing that the development was not an extreme case in the history of the Parliamentary Service Board.
The Speaker explained that he only acted on the advice of the Advisory Committee of Parliament and insisted that Asiedu Nketia was a qualified Ghanaian, who meets all the necessary criteria.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia was recently appointed by the Speaker alongside some three others to serve on the Parliamentary Service Board. The other three people are Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader; Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader and Abraham Osei Aidoo, a former NPP MP for Tema West who also once served as the Majority Leader of the House.
By Ernest Kofi Adu