Parliament locked in debate over Agyarko, Osafo Maafo as Minority refuses to ‘approve’ them

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Parliament is currently locked in a debate over the approval of Energy Minister-designate Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko and Senior Minister-designate, Yaw Osafo Maafo.

There were earlier reports that two have had the approval of their nominations suspended due to some issues the committee deemed necessary for probing.

While the committee was reported to be unconvinced by Mr Osafo-Maafo explanations concerning an alleged ethnocentric comment he made in February 2015 and needed further probing to convince themselves, the suspension of Mr Agyarko’s approval is said to have bothered on a claim he made about the World Bank ‘breathing down on the neck of former President John Mahama’ to change one of his energy policy decisions.

Later information from the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, Joe Osei-Owusu indicated that the committee, after some deliberations, had decided to pass the two alongside all the other ministers-designate who have appeared before them.

“I can assure you that all the first 13 nominees have been cleared and the report will reflect that”, he stated in an interview.

But, the reports on the two, when they were laid before the full House on Friday, erupted a fierce debate with the Minority still insisting that the two nominees provided evidence for the statements they made or they would want their approval to be recorded as by Majority decision.

According to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrissu Mr Agyarko portrayed former President Mahama as corrupt and must prove his allegations and Mr Osafo Maafo must provide documentary evidence of his statement at the ill-fated meeting.

The Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on the other hand, suggested that the Committee met the nominees again after which they would deliberate further as it would be better to make a decision based on consensus other than by vote.

Meanwhile, the House by consensus approved the nominations of Minister-designate for Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh; Minister-designate for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu and Food; and Agric Minister-designate, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto in addition the earlier approvals of Minister-designate for Trade and IndustryKyerematen ; Minister-designate for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta; Minister-designate for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul; Minister-designate for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah; Minister-designate for Justice and Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo; Minister-designate for Interior, Ambrose Dery; Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey; and Minister-designate for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama .

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