Proposal to cut down on ministers to 19 will limit the ability of a president to govern – Kwadwo Mpiani
Former Chief of staff during the John Kufour administration has disagreed with the suggestion that the number of ministers should be reduced to nineteen to ease pressure on the public purse.
The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu made the suggestion at a lecture on Wednesday.
According to The Majority Leader, based on the 1992 Constitution, the President is mandated to appoint up to only nineteen cabinet ministers.
However, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani contended that any attempt to do that by law would mean a limit on how the President should govern the country.
According to him, there should rather be enough flexibility “to give the President the power to do these appointments”.
“If you are going to set up an artificial limit to 19 or 20 or what not, I think you are limiting the President as to how he must govern the country. The whole world is dynamic and things change. So if you are going to put in a law that we should only have 19 ministries and maybe we even list the ministries, the world changes.
‘It will come to a time when we will say some of the ministries we may not need and we may have to add another minister and you may have to go back and say let us change the law to bring these new ministries,” he said on AM Show, Thursday.
Mr. Mpiani said the focus should be on reducing pressure on the public purse by paying attention to the “cost to the nation of these ministries.”
Although Mr. Mpiani admits that the number of ministers appointed by the ruling government is too much, he said the prerogative to reduce the number should be for the President.
“I believe you should give the President or the Head of State the flexibility to look at these issues and do as it is right for the country at any particular time. This is what must be done,” he noted.
President Akufo-Addo was severely criticised for appointing as many as 126 Cabinet Ministers in his first term.
The Minority in Parliament and other Civil Society Organisations contended that the action of the President puts much pressure on the public purse.
President Akufo-Addo in his second term subsequently reduced the number of Ministers to 86.
Source: Raphael Ghartey