FGJ proposes new ministerial vetting procedure

The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) has congratulated leadership of the 5th parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana and commended Members of Parliament, especially the members of the appointments committee for not reneging on their responsibilities to vet ministerial nominees proposed by President John Dramani Mahama.

The group has, however, petitioned the leadership of parliament to consider revising the vetting procedure “as part of our role in influencing the growth of our democratic culture, social transformation and the delivery of justice.”

In a statement signed by Kofi Annor, Member and Policy Analyst of FGJ, the group proposed a new procedure in vetting ministerial nominees.

“The new policy we are prosing will primarily focus on reforming the entire parliamentary vetting procedure, making it more forward looking and pro-development while deepening democracy. The new vetting policy will require every new Ministerial nominee to submit a twenty (20) page Nominee Visionary Paper (NVP) document, which should contain the nominee’s vision and understanding on the specified Ministry and how he or she intend to achieve it.

“Nominated Ministers, we propose, must be able to portray clarity in their understanding of their newly designated Ministry. The document, which must be submitted by all nominees, must indicate their knowledge in the Ministry in which they will be serving and must also outline at least most of the challenges the Ministry faces.

“Under this new Ministerial Vetting Policy we propose, ninety per cent (90%) of the vetting should be focused on the content of the Nominee Visionary Paper (NVP) and the remaining ten per cent (10%) be concentrated on nominees’ education, work experience, personal life and all other relevant issues. Members of the vetting committee should be furnished with copies of the nominee’s NVP document which they must study thoroughly in order to be able to quiz the nominee on his or her owns vision for the specified sector.

“The NVP document, which must be developed and submitted by every candidate/nominee, should also exhibit a clear and intelligible understanding within the specified designated sector. A nominee must also be able to display to the vetting committee a convincing state of some political astuteness, which can help shape vision and increase institutional and socio-political understanding. The vetting committee may not only focus only on the academic credentials of a nominee or a chain of degrees which has proven to be not relevant in world democracy but a pragmatic persons who believes in the capabilities of a Ghanaian mind and the appropriate understanding in citizens’ experience and expectation”

FGJ claims the proposed procedure will help achieve the objective of selecting the utmost quality ministers with the right attitude and brain power to run the affairs of the country for the common good of all.




All justices of Supreme Court should hear NPP Election Petition, FGJ proposes

The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) wishes to commend the Supreme Court of Ghana for dealing swiftly with the application by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to join the petition brought forward by Nana Akufo-Addo and co.

Indeed, the people, from whom justice emanates and is administered in the name of the Republic by the Judiciary, now anxiously expect hearing on the substantive petition to start on January 29, 2013.

As we commend the highest court of the land, we wish to humbly suggest to the Chief Justice, to consider empanelling all the Justices of the Supreme Court to sit on substantive case.

Clearly, if the Chief Justice saw the need to empanel a nine-member bench to hear and decide NDC’s application to be joined in the petition by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), then it is not unreasonable to make this request, given the nature of the case at hand and its likely implications for our nation.

Our suggestion is also informed by the fact since 1992, two main political parties have ruled Ghana, the NDC and the NPP. Equally, it is true that all the Justices of the Supreme Court appointed since the coming into effect of the 1992 constitution were appointed by a leader elected on the ticket of one of the two parties now in court over the 2012 presidential poll.

We sincerely believe that the nature of this case requires a concerted effort to avoid needless and baseless speculations about loyalties and/or lack thereof, the reasons why the FGJ believes that all the Justices of the Court should be empanelled. If nine sat on an application for a joinder, then asking the full house to sit on the substantive case that has consequences for our democracy is not out of place in the national interest.

From: Dr Clement Apaak, Convener (FJG)


Akufo-Addo opposes EC’s request

The presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 2012 general election, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has opposed the  request by the Electoral Commission (EC) for further documents in the petition contesting the results of the presidential poll.

He said the EC “ought not be permitted to employ an application for further and better particulars to compel the petitioners to disclose the nature of evidence petitioners intend to lead during the trial”.

The EC filed a motion on January 15, 2013 praying the Supreme Court to direct the petitioners to furnish it with “further and better” particulars of polling stations the alleged irregularities took place.

But Nana Akufo-Addo, who is one of the petitioners challenging the declaration of President Mahama as the winner of the polls, in an affidavit in opposition dated January 21, 2013, prayed the court to dismiss the EC’s request.

Hearing of the EC’s motion for further particulars has been set for January 29, 2013.

The petition to the Supreme Court, dated December 28, 2012, filed by Nana Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, stated, among other things, that irregularities recorded at 4,709 polling stations favoured President Mahama.

According to the affidavit in opposition, the EC already had in its possession originals of the declaration forms and for that reason it was needless for it to request for further particulars from the petitioners.

According to the petitioners, 24,000 of the pink results sheets from some polling stations indicated that those irregularities were enough to affect the outcome of the presidential election, but the EC has denied the claims, describing the election results as credible and accurate.

Joined to the petition is the winner of the presidential polls, President Mahama, who has also denied the petitioners’ claims and insisted he won the election freely, fairly and in the full glare of the media, domestic and international observers.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 majority decision, Tuesday allowed the NDC to join the petition as a third respondent.

The court was of the view that “it will be in the interest of justice” to allow the NDC to join the petition, since the outcome of the case will have a direct bearing on the party.

According to the court, the fortunes of the NDC and those of the President were “tied together” and it was, therefore, important for the NDC to be allowed to join the petition to assist the court to get to the bottom of the matter.

Source: Daily Graphic