Professor, Stephen Kwaku Asare, popularly known as Kwaku Azar has emphatically stated that members of parliament must take their oath seriously and reject nominees who cannot demonstrate proficiency at the vetting.
In a social media post on the vetting of nominees by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, Prof. Azar emphasized that “nobody should be rejected because they can’t speak English fluently. But a nominee who cannot demonstrate proficiency at the vetting must withdraw suo moto or be withdrawn by the President. Failing these preemptive withdrawals, MPs must take their oath seriously and reject the nominee”.
He explained that at least he sees a test of “four competencies: qualification, temperament, policy grasp and policy preferences. In addition, I believe an appropriate inquiry should also examine any potential conflict of interests”.
He maintained that he does not think “how well one speaks English language is a criteria. Even one who is not fluent in English can demonstrate that they are qualified and have a firm grasp of policy”.
He argued that “anyone who has taught foreign students before has examples of students who could demonstrate their technical proficiency, notwithstanding their communication challenges in an oral examination. So while fluency is an admirable skill, lack of it should not be disqualifying. MPs do not make an oath to approve only nominees who are fluent in English language. Fortunately, just about every nominee in our history has scaled the communication hurdle and it is an issue only for bar talk”.
But MPs, in our system of governance, make oath that they will not approve any nominee who is unqualified, “who lack the temperament for the office, who do not have the policy depth and who may have interests that are incompatible with the office they have been nominated to”.
He further noted that due to the involvement of Parliament, “the President too has a duty to carefully vet nominees to ensure he does not put Parliament in the awkward position to reject them”.
Prof. Azar subsequently said that it is equally important and duty for nominees to turn “down positions for which they lack the expertise. I know something about eating fish but I am not embarrassed to say I know nothing about aquaculture. If a President calls and says take over the ministry of Fisheries, as an example, I owe the President and the country a duty to say Mr. President that is not something I am qualified for. We must develop the culture of being truthful to ourselves and appointees and frankly to the country”.
Filed By : Agaatorne Douglas Asaah / awakenewsroom.com