The Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagbah, has downplayed calls for the Controller and Accountant-General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, to resign before contesting the party’s parliamentary primaries.

He said there was no specific rule currently that barred the Controller and Accountant-General from contesting a political office while holding on to his current position.

Mr Kwaning-Bosompem is seeking to lead the NPP as its Parliamentary Candidate in the Akyem Swedru Constituency in the Eastern Region in the coming 2024 general election.

However, since news of his decision to contest the seat broke, there have been many calls from some political parties, political commentators and civil servants, including the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), for him to vacate the position as the Controller and Accountant-General.

Speaking on Accra-based TV3’s “The Key Points” programme, on Saturday, Mr Ahiagba rejected such calls, indicating that, the position of the Controller and Accountant-General was a “unique” one.

According to him, the current Controller and Accountant-General was “not a civil servant in the true sense of the word” because he was a government appointee.

Therefore, Mr Ahiagbah insisted the Controller and Accountant-General needed not to resign before contesting for any political position.

“There is no doubt about rendering the position of the law, I think there is no dispute about that, but what I’m saying is that we have a unique situation in this Controller and Accountant-General position where technically, he was out of the civil service and brought back in. All the examinations that we are talking about, none of them conform to his particular situation.

“If anybody wants to parallel what ruling exists to say that, therefore, he resigns, I’m saying that there is a unique instance. Perhaps, the Supreme Court can give a ruling,” he said.

Mr Ahiagbah added that “he [Controller and Accountant-General] has gone out [of civil service] and come in by an appointment. So, technically, he is not a civil servant in the true sense of the word, he is a government appointee based on that.

“There is no rule currently that deals with his position in terms of any ruling.”

Mr Bobby Banson, a private legal practitioner, on the same programme, insisted that the Controller and Accountant-General’s continuous stay in office while vying for a political position amounted to breaking the law.

Article 94(3) (b) of the 1992 Constitution states that; “A person shall not be eligible to be a member of Parliament if he is a member of the Police Service, the Prisons Service, the Armed Forces, the Judicial Service, the Legal Service, the Civil Service\the Audit Service, the Parliamentary Service, the Statistical Service, the Fire Service, the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, the Immigration Service, or the internal Revenue Service.”

Mr Banson, therefore, urged the NPP to disqualify the Controller and Accountant-General from contesting the party’s parliamentary primaries if he failed to resign from his current position.

Dr Rasheed Draman, Executive Director, African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs, warned against any action that could lead to the politicisation of both the civil and public service.

“There are very good reasons why we want to keep our civil and public servants away from politics, and I think the parties must do all in their power to make sure that we don’t get to this level,” he stressed.

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