Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress has been selected to serve as a member of the Parliamentary Service Board.
Asiedu Nketiaâ€™s appointment was made known by Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin who read a report by a special advisory committee on the floor of Parliament on March 29, 2021.
The committee in its report as quoted by the state-owned Daily Graphic was concerned with the appointment of Asiedu Nketia as he is an executive of a political party.
That notwithstanding, the committee said it is within the right of Alban Bagbin who is the chair of the board to appoint four other members.
â€œIt is considered by some members of the committee that the membership of Mr Asiedu Nketia amounts to an undesired intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party and may not in the circumstances bode well for the independence of Parliament since he is the General-Secretary of a major opposition political party.
“Notwithstanding, Mr Speaker is the person clothed with the authority to appoint the other four persons who, together with the Clerk-to-Parliament, constitute the Parliamentary Service Board. It is also our considered opinion that Mr Speaker will do what is appropriate,â€ he read from the letter.
Bagbin, however, assured the committee and Parliament that the appointment of Asiedu Nketia does not amount to an intrusion of the house.
â€œBut I want to note that the former Parliamentary Service Board had Honourable Hackman Owusu-Agyeman as a member of the board and Hackman Owusu Agyeman later became the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
â€œThat one was not [an] intrusion into the governance of Parliament by a political party. What is good for the gander is also good for the goose. Honourable Members, the board will be constituted and we will start our work,â€ he added.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader of Parliament, however, disagreed with the Speaker.
“The reason is if I should challenge every ruling, and maybe there is a debate on it and Mr Speaker’s ruling is brought down, I have succeeded in doing it, inflicting a mortal wound on the chair and that will bring the repute of this House down.
â€œI will never do that because it is for us to protect the Speakership and I will ever do that. So, I refuse any bait to challenge the ruling of the Speaker,” he said.
Other members of the board are the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu and Mr Abraham Osei Aidoo, who is a former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament and former Majority Leader.
The Clerk of Parliament Cyril Nsiah is also a member.