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This tutorial is about the procedure that is followed in appointing an individual as a Minister of State under the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution of Ghana?
The 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution of Ghana brought to an end more than a decade of military rule under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) administration of Flt. Lt. J.J. Rawlings.
The constitution was drafted after a comprehensive nationwide consultation exercise carried out by a Consultative Assembly under the chairmanship of the Paga Chiana – Pio, Pe Rowland Ayigitam II.
The constitution was then approved by Ghanaians in a referendum in April 1992. It, however, came into force on 7th January 1993 with the swearing into office of the National Democratic Congress administration of President J.J. Rawlings.
The 1992 constitution of Ghana provides for an executive president who can appoint his ministers from both parliament and outside parliament.
Thus the constitution can be described as a hybrid of both the American presidential and the British parliamentary systems. The only condition is that the president is mandated to appoint majority (sixty per cent) of his ministers from parliament.
Let’s now look at the procedure for appointing a minister of state under the 1992 constitution of Ghana.
1. The president must nominate the person to be appointed as a minister. In the process of exercising this power, the president must satisfy the demands of regional and gender balance.
Also, the nominee must be a citizen of Ghana who has attained the minimum age of twenty-one and must be a registered voter
2. An individual nominated by the president to become a minister of state must go through a process of vetting in parliament in order to be approved by the people’s representatives.
The vetting process is intended to access the suitability of the nominee for the position for which he or she has been nominated.
Members of the public are requested by the Appointments Committee of Parliament to submit memoranda in respect of the nominee’s qualification, conduct, etc. to assist the committee do its work effectively.
4. Where there are no adverse findings in respect of the nominee during the vetting process, parliament proceeds to a process of voting by consensus to approve the nominee.
On the other hand, however, if the nominee is found to have committed any act that may compromise his position as a minister, the entire house may vote on whether to approve or reject him.
The nominee could, however, scrape through by majority decision based on the numerical strength of the president’s party in parliament.
5. The process is concluded by a swearing-in ceremony conducted by the president.
The approved nominee swears an oath of allegiance and secrecy to the president after which he or she is issued with an appointment letter.
The president reserves the right to revoke this appointment anytime when the nominee is found to be incompetent, corrupt, morally bankrupt or unable to continue carrying out his or her responsibilities.
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