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Friday’s key vote in Parliament approving ministers-designate exposes deep cracks in NDC

There are 275 members of Parliament in all. However, 272 took part in the votes, three MPs being absent from the House

Deep cracks in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament have been exposed following a vote in the House on Friday 24 March 2023 to approve ministers and deputy ministers nominated by President Akufo-Addo to fill vacant positions in his government.

There are 275 MPs in all. However, 272 members took part in the voting because three were absent from the House.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, made an announcement to that effect on the floor of the House before declaring results of the votes on the six nominations.

Outcome of ballot 

The Speaker announced that 154 members had voted Yes to approve K T Hammond’s nomination as minister-designate of trade and industry with 116 voting No.

On the approval of Bryan Acheampong as food and agriculture minister-designate, 167 MPs voted Yes and 98 voted No. Stephen Asamoah Boateng’s nomination as minister-designate of chieftaincy and religious affairs was also approved by 147 members voting Yes (against 122 who voted No).

Osei Bonsu Amoah’s nomination as the minister of state-designate at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development was approved by 149 members voting Yes, against 120 who voted No.

One hundred and fifty-two MPs voted Yes to approve the nomination of Amin Adam as minister of state-designate at the Ministry of Finance (against 117 who voted No) and 146 members voted Yes to approve Stephen Amoah as deputy minister-designate for trade and industry (against 123 who voted No).

The outcome of the ballot shows that, on average, roughly 20 MPs from the Minority Caucus joined colleagues on the Majority side to approve the ministerial nominees.


Following the announcement of the outcome of the vote, some members of the Minority Caucus have taken to social media to express displeasure with their colleagues who voted alongside the Majority Caucus to approve the ministers-designate.

Clement Abas Apaak, the NDC MP for Builsa South in the Upper East Region, wrote on his Facebook wall: “Approval of Ministers – Most devastating and disappointing outcome. Greed and treachery is our bane. Yet again we have failed to live up to expectations. The traitors will surely be exposed by their collaborators in no time.”

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu and ranking member of the foreign affairs committee, also wrote on his Twitter handle: “There is no knife that cuts so sharp and with such poisoned blade as treachery.”

For his part, the private legal practitioner and member of the NDC national communications team Nii Kpakpo Samoa Addo questioned the credibility of the Minority Leader. Writing on his Facebook wall, Samoa Addo asked: “So what happens to a minority leader who cannot deliver crucial votes when it matters most?”

Party directives

It will be recalled that when the NDC national leadership announced the change in the leadership of the Minority Caucus on Tuesday 24 January 2023, it pointed out that the party was forced to remove Haruna Iddrisu as Minority Leader because he was not co-operating with the new party executive leadership and that he was seen more as supporting government business rather than the NDC’s agenda.

If Friday’s vote is anything to go by, it is clear that the new leadership of the Minority Caucus has not been able to whip all of its members to pursue the party’s agenda on parliamentary business.

On 7 March 2023 the national leadership of the NDC called on the Minority Caucus in Parliament to vote against the approval of all ministers of state-designate who were vetted by Parliament’s appointments committee following their nomination by President Akufo-Addo.

The NDC also called on its MPs not to support the passage of all pending draft legislation which is crucial to the government’s bid to secure an extended credit facility worth US$3 billion from the International Monetary Fund by the end of March.

Ministerial nominations

President Nana Akufo-Addo nominated the MP for Adansi Asokwa, Kobina Tahir (K T) Hammond, as the new Minister of Trade to replace Alan Kyerematen, who resigned from the cabinet on 6 January 2023 to pursue presidential ambitions.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, announced the Hammond’s nomination on the floor of the House on 7 February 2023. The president also nominated Stephen Amoah, a former chief executive officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), to serve as the deputy minister in the same department.

For the Ministry of Agriculture, the MP for Abetifi, Bryan Acheampong, was named as the replacement for Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who also resigned last month to pursue presidential ambitions.

O B Amoah was nominated to serve as minister of state in the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development and Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the former director general of the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), was named as the new Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.

Mohammed Amin Adam, the current deputy minister of energy, was named as the minister of state-designate in the Ministry of Finance and Herbert Krapa was moved from the role of deputy trade minister to deputy minister of energy.

All six nominees were vetted by Parliament’s appointment committee but it failed to approve the ministers and deputy ministers-designate by consensus.

NDC directive

In a letter signed by the general secretary of the NDC, Fifi Kwetey, dated Tuesday 7 March 2023 and addressed to all constituency chairpersons of the party, the party noted that it had targeted the better part of the month of March as the time for “Operation Save Our Democracy”.

“At its meeting held on Tuesday, 7 March 2023, the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress, in solidarity with the Minority Caucus in Parliament, resolved that the period from the evening of 7 March 2023 up until 31 March 2023 has been declared as ‘Operation Save Our Democracy,’” a statement from the party said.

“Accordingly, FEC issues the following directives; firstly, all campaign activities in all constituencies with sitting NDC MPs are hereby suspended and secondly, all sitting NDC MPs, shall be required to attend all Parliamentary sittings,” said the letter signed by Kwetey.

Third, “No NDC MP shall undertake any travel that will affect his or her attendance in Parliament,” the statement ordered. Fourth, “any MP who has travelled is hereby recalled immediately”.

The fifth and sixth directives from the NDC general secretary stipulate that “all regional and constituency executives and aspirants are directed to ensure strict compliance with the directives herein” and that “all parliamentary aspirants are hereby directed, in their own interest, to strictly adhere to these directives as breach of same shall attract severe sanctions”.

Wilberforce Asare

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