Ghana’s President John Kufuor has reportedly asked eight of his cabinet ministers who have been campaigning to represent the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in next year’s general elections to resign before the end of this week. President Kufuor made this known during a meeting with each of the ministers at the seat of government, in Accra. However, some ministers were said to have disagreed with the president, citing the party’s constitution, which demands resignation of ministers after they have filed their nominations. Kufuor had earlier warned all ministers in his government that they risk being sacked if they continued to campaign while still serving in his administration. Supporters of the ruling party have hailed Kufuor’s action, saying the ministers would not continue to run the various ministries they have been assigned effectively.
From the capital, Accra, ruling party General Secretary Nana Ohene-Ntow tells Voice Of America reporter Peter Clottey that it’s the prerogative of President Kufuor to chose whom he works with.
“My information is that there was a meeting between the president and those ministers who have shown clear interest in running for the candidacy of the NPP,” he said.
Ohene-Ntow says he thinks ministers who have presidential ambitions should resign from their positions.
“I have personally expressed this view a long time ago that if a minister who is interested in taking up the NPP flag-bearer ship finds that his (or her) campaign movements and his desire to become the flag-bearer is conflicting with his schedule as a minister, then it would be fair to the government and to the party that such a minister resigns,” he pointed out.
He said some of the affected ministers were not happy with his view on why he thinks they should resign.
“In fact some of the ministers who have shown interest in becoming presidential candidates of the NPP more or less took me on. All of them had said that their interest and their movements around do not interfere with their work as ministers. And I said fine, if that is the case, then I don’t have a problem with that, but the reality is that it has the potential to interfere with your work as a minister if the president is saying that now, I think the president’s position is only coinciding with my own personal position,” he said.
Ohene-Ntow said the ministers did not break any rule of the party’s constitution.
“Technically, a minister who aspires to become the flag-bearer is expected to resign only after they have filed their application or their nomination. So technically, they have not flouted any rule of the party. They have not gone contrary to the constitution of the party,” he noted.