The Ashanti Regional Minister, John Alexander Ackon has taken a swipe at critics calling for the resignation of Ministers of State who are contesting for parliamentary slots in the upcoming general election.Mr. Ackon who is the NDC Parliamentary candidate for Obuasi West in the Ashanti Region noted that, there has always been a difficulty in multi-tasking but with proper planning and time management, one should be able to create a balance between his ministerial position and constituency aspirations.
Several Ghanaians have opined that, Ministers of State who are contesting for parliamentary seats in the upcoming elections must resign to avoid conflict of interest. Others also presume that such ministers tend to abandon their ministerial activities and concentrate on the constituency which causes huge financial loss to the state.
But speaking to Kasapa FM’s Maame Broni, Mr. Ackon noted that, article 78 (1) of the 1992 constitution allows for some Members of Parliament to be made Ministers of State. It says, (1) Ministers of State shall be appointed by the President with the prior approval of Parliament from among members of Parliament or persons qualified to be elected as members of Parliament, except that the majority of Ministers of State shall be appointed from among members of Parliament.
This according to Mr. Ackon, does not hinder a parliamentarian chosen as a Minister of state from discharging his duties with diligence and accuracy hence a minister of state aspiring to be a parliamentarian cannot be termed as a conflict of interest warranting a resignation.
Meanwhile, Some section of the Ghanaian legislators have suggested that Article 78(1) of the constitution must be amended to prohibit the President from appointing his ministers from Parliament.
The situation, According to the Majority Leader, Alban S.K. Bagbin has led to Parliament’s being unable to exercise its oversight functions effectively when some Members of Parliament are with the executive branch of Government.
But Mr. Ackon remaining unperturbed said, there is no point in calling for the resignation of a Minister of State aspiring to be a parliamentarian when the person has breached no law.
“Why must I resign? Many Ghanaians do engage in extracurricular activities other than their main stream job and its deemed fit. There is no law stopping such an act. What matters is creating a balance between one’s office and his other activities. It is time tasking but effective time management and a focused mind is the ultimate” he told Maame Broni.