The Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said the decision by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to settle on him to deliver the 2021 budget statement in the absence of the Finance Minister is without malice.
His statement comes after initial reports had indicated that the Minister for Trade and Industries, Alan Kojo Kyerematen, had been appointed by the President to deliver the budget statement.
However, it has emerged the Majority leader in Parliament will now be presenting the budget statement and some reactions to this have been to the effect that the decision was to avoid giving the Trade Minister who is likely to contest the NPP flagbearership an edge over the Vice President, also tipped as a potential candidate.
Speaking in an interview with Okay FM monitored by GhanaWeb, Mr Osei Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu stated that the decision to settle on him came without any backing malice and that it was a Cabinet backed decision which saw his role as Leader of Government Business in Parliament as the right candidate to deliver the Presentation.
“The final decision after the President and Cabinet analysed the whole thing was for the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs who is the Leader of Government Business in the House to do the presentation. I think it comes without any malice and there’s no mischief also intended,” he stated.
He said depending on the exigencies the President could have settled on a host of choices including Ministers and the Vice President who is the head of the Economic Management Team.
He averred that even though the Vice President qualifies for the presentation, settling on him will be a breach of protocol and a de-elevation of his status.
“The Vice President could have been chosen except that where he sits as the head of the Economic Management Team, the Finance Minister and others report to him and if he comes to replace the Finance Minister it will be as if he has descended from the ladder. In terms of protocol that will mean he would descend a step lower and I believe it is one of the reasons why the President did not settle on him.”
Already there has been rife discussions on who gets to succeed the President as the NPPs Flagbearer in 2024.
The Minister of Trade and the Vice President have so far become the leading frontrunners even though none of the two have officially made know their intentions.
Supporters of the two have however begun intense underground lobbying and campaign for their respective choices.