The Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu Senya East Constituency, last year fired a warning shot at one of the registration centres and justified it in her Constituency claiming it was to disperse people she described as hoodlums brought to the centre by her opponent from the NDC.
According to the then Minister of Special Development Initiative, she got to one of the polling stations in her constituency and realised the NDC candidate for the area had bused people from other places to register for the new voters ID card.
There have been many calls for her disqualification based on the incident coupled with what many described as her poor showing at the vetting.
But reacting to this on Accra-based Okay Fm monitored by MyNewsGh.com, the former MP for Tamale Central said “performing abysmally during vetting is not the essence of the process. The essence of the vetting is to determine competence, capacity to deliver on policy and programmes of the government, trust…when people can repose confidence in her. When she was a minister of state apart from some statements she made, no one can accuse her of embezzling funds so what is the basis for disqualifying her? She has been a minister of state for four years so what shows she is not competent?”
On the gun shooting incident, he explained” We all know that Hawa Koomson shot a gun at a registration centre and has not been convicted. If she was convicted, she could not have stood for parliamentary elections. There is no conviction so what can you hold her for? Proficiency in English is not a requirement at vetting of ministerial nominees. Article 94 says if a person is convicted of an election-related offense he/she is not qualified to hold a public position”
Explaining further on methods and other requirements used in determining the qualification of ministerial nominees he emphasized” There are three methods used to approve or disapprove the president’s ministerial nominee. The first criteria is a unanimous decision, the second is consensus…we have 26 vetting committee members. One may see the nominee as incapable of handling the position and the rest may think otherwise and all will arrive at a consensus. The last one is division. If after vetting some members say they approve and others say they disagree, they will call for a division which is done through voting. Even if at the committee level. If the ministerial nominee is voted against, it would be part of the report of the appointments committee
If it is the fulfillment of the substantive minimum requirement, nothing can be done about that like in the case of Spio-Garbrah who was not a registered voter and had his nomination withdrawn at the time. Another was one Vicky under Kufuor’s era who was proficient in English in view of the fact she lived in Britain but was not a registered voter. These are the substantive minimum requirements.
What is left is subjective because Parliament has not set an objective criteria in assessing nominees of the President either than what is contained in the constitution. There is no template.Speaking English cannot be equated to competence”