Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper says he is struggling to understand why the New Patriotic Party is lamenting over last minute appointments being made by outgoing president, John Mahama.
In Kweku Baako’s view, the NPP has no case with the objections they are raising over the appointments because it reserves the right to reverse or defer them if they cannot implement them immediately.
Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, the known sympathizer of the NPP said “I don’t get the noise. You have the power to review those things that are within your remit.”
The last minute appointment of Joseph Whital and Josephine Nkrumah as heads of the Commisison on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) respectively, has drawn a barrage of criticisms from the incoming NPP administration.
Joseph Whital and Josephine Nkrumah taking their oath of office
The party has condemned the appointments, saying they are being done in bad faith.
However, citing a similar incident as regards the Single Spine pay structure passed by former president Kufuor just when he was about to leave office in 2009, Mr Baako said the incoming administration could emulate late Prof Mills who halted the process until it was necessary to implement it.
“ Whatever it is Kufour did, presented a challenge to the Mills government so the government met with organised labour and stakeholders and decided to defer it at least for a year and implemented it in 2010.
“Obviously the Mills administration suspended the thing, subjected it to review, deferred implementation and began at the time it thought was in the national interest to do so. So what is the big deal,” he queried.
Mr Baako indicated that specific defects in contracts that are being signed is what the NPP should focus on.
“Somebody is signing an agreement, what kind of agreement is that, did the agreement have to go to parliament or not, did it go through the procurement law or not?
“If those deficiencies are there, then that is dead on arrival and if they force it, the new government has the mandate to review and to withdraw. So I don’t see the big deal,” he noted.
He stressed that “What is happening is not illegal neither is it unconstitutional.”
Phillip Addison’s suit
Mr Baako said the suit filed by private legal practitioner Phillip Addison over the appointments of the CHRAJ and NCCE bosses is a step in the right direction.
For him, the suit will bring an understanding to what outgoing governments can or cannot do during the period of transition.
“A litigation in court is appropriate, it will help. Otherwise the transition act must be amended and set a new requirement that the last two or three months the government should not make any major changes. But even that should be specific.”
He said nothing stops the government from entering into contracts as long as it is in accordance with the law.
But if they are engaging in last minute undercover illegalities, it can be cured by law, he said, adding “And do they know who is coming in as president? The law himself.”