The Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Honourable Mavis Hawa Koomson has been approved by Ghana’s parliament in a majority voting decision.
This comes after the Minority MPs on the Appointments Committee of Parliament did not recommend the approval of her nomination alongside 2 other nominees.
In a decision that was determined by a secret voting system, the honourable Minister-designate, who is also the Member of Parliament of Awutu Senya East Constituency obtained 161 Yes votes representing 60.75% against 104 No votes, representing 39.25% of a 265 total votes.
The other ministerial nominees who also had their ministerial fates determined by the secret voting system of parliament were minister-designate for Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, and Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Akoto Afriyie who obtained 155 and 143 votes respectively.
Announcing the results to parliamentarians, Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament stated:
“At the end of the votes in respect of the three nominees that were recommended by the Committee on the basis of Majority decision; in the persons of Honourable Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Honourable Mavis Hawa Koomson and Honourable Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the votes issued were 265 per candidate. “Now, in respect of Honourable Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the ‘Yes’ votes total 143; the ‘No’, 121. One vote was no indication of choice or the opinion of the person and so, that is considered a spoilt ballot. As a result, the percentage obtained by the Honourable Member is 53.96%. By the Standing Orders, Standing Order 172(8) – a candidate who fails to secure 50% of the votes cast is rejected; in this case, he has secured more than 50 per cent votes and therefore, he has been approved.
“In respect of Honourable Mavis Hawa Koomson, the same number of qualified voters, the Ayes, 161, the [Nays], 104; the percentage of votes obtained [60.75]. In the circumstances, Honourable Mavis Hawa Koomson is accordingly approved”
The Speaker went on: “Honourable Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the same number of qualified voters and ballots issued. The Ayes – 155, the [Nays] – 110; percentage approximately [58.65]. In the circumstances, Honourable Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has also been approved by the House.”
Reasons for their previous rejection
Mr Oppong Nkrumah who appeared before the Committee on the February 18, was reportedly rejected on three grounds.
The Minority MPs said they were not satisfied with the answers he gave regarding his private businesses.
According to them, the Ofoase Ayeribi MP had an 83% share in a company called Oval MicroFinance. They further stated that he failed to admit ethical liability for the related party lending between Oval MicroFinance and West Brownstone, which they said, belonged to him.
Also, they said he had dealings with MX24 GH, a content creation, digital agency and media production house located in East Legon, of which he denied any direct association during his vetting.
Overall, the NDC MPs accused Mr Oppong Nkrumah of being “evasive” and “untruthful” with his answers during his vetting.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister-designate, Hawa Koomson, who was vetted on the same day was turned down mainly for the gun-shooting incident that occurred during the registration of voters in her constituency.
During her vetting, the 55-year-old admitted to firing warning shots in self-defence and apologized to the Committee and Ghanaians in general for her conduct.
Regarding the Minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Afriyie Akoto, he was accused of unilaterally cancelling a horticulture contract with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority on January 11, 2021 without authority. This cancellation according to the Minority Group was unauthorised as he was only a caretaker Minister.