The majority leader in Ghana’s parliament has said President John Dramani Mahama is scheduled to present the name of his nominee for the position of vice president to the legislative body Tuesday.
The former vice president was installed president following the sudden death of President John Atta-Mills last week in accordance with the Ghanaian constitution.
Cletus Avoka said the legislature will have to confirm the nominee before the candidate can officially assume duties to help the president discharge his duties.
“We expect that as soon as we begin proceedings this morning, we will expect to have the name of the president’s nominee,” said Avoka.
“The nominee would be referred to the Appointments Committee by the Speaker who will do the necessary investigations to check about the fellow’s background, qualification, competence, integrity, morality etc., and present a report to the house for consideration and approval.”
If confirmed, the candidate will serve the five remaining months of the late president’s term ahead of the December general election.
Avoka said parliament has a short period to vet and confirm the president’s nominee.
“We don’t have time on our side; otherwise, we would have to advertise in the [news] papers and ask for people to submit petitions or memoranda as to what they know about the nominee,” continued Avoka.
“But, given the fact that he [or she] is the second highest official in the land, and then time is not on our side, it may not be possible to subject him or her to this process. So, we are having discussions…to find out how we can smooth the rough edges and make sure that the fellow nominated is actually approved by parliament.”
Meanwhile, the government has directed a minute’s silence Tuesday in honor of the late Atta-Mills. The day and time marks one week and the exact time that he passed away.
“Wherever people find themselves throughout Ghana, at 2:15pm on Tuesday, 31st July, 2012, they are to observe a minute’s silence as directed and also say a prayer afterwards for the soul of President Atta-Mills, who worked selflessly towards bettering the lives of Ghanaians,” read the government’s statement.
The funeral planning committee of the late leader has also inspected a number of places to be considered as a final resting place for presidents of the Republic of Ghana. Places the committee visited included the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum, the Military Cemetery, the Castle Marine Drive and the Flagstaff House.
When a consensus is arrived at, the selected place is to be developed into a national memorial park for all Ghanaian presidents.
Avoka, who is a member of the funeral planning committee, said both the majority and minority members of parliament are involved in the planning of the funeral arrangements of the late president.
“The majority and minority are going to be involved in this funeral process. In addition to that, we have formed various committees to be able to handle various aspects of the funeral preparations. And then, two or three members, who are going to be members of the funeral committee, will serve on various committees to ensure that we give our departed president a befitting burial,” said Avoka.