NPP MPs Take a Fast U-turn on Removal of Ken Ofori Atta as Finance Minister

The Majority Group in Ghana’s Parliament has beaten a fast U-turn on its request for the President to sack the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta and the Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen for the abysmal performance of the Ghanaian economy and the fast depreciating currency against the major trading currencies such as the dollar.

The Majority Group at a press conference on Monday, October 25, 2022, addressed by the Member of Parliament for Asante Akim South, Andy Appiah Kubi on behalf of the Majority Caucus, informed the public that over 80 MPs from the Governing party NPP have already signed a petition where they are calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to remove the Finance Minister and the Minister of state or else, they will not support any policy initiative by him nor participate in any debate on the Government’s 2023 budget which will be presented to Parliament in a couple of weeks.

Only for the Majority Group to issue a press release two days after to revise their position on their request, citing a consideration of an intervention made by the President to be given a little more time to conclude negotiations with the IMF and finish the preparations for the 2023 Budget.

The release signed by the Majority Leader, Leader of Government’s Business and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, indicated that:

“following the Press Conference held on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 by some Members of the Majority Caucus in Parliament demanding the removal of the Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, and the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Charles Adu Boahen from office, the President engaged Members of the Caucus and requested that the issue be stood down until the conclusion of the round of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the presentation of the presentation of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy in November, 2022 and the subsequent passage of the Appropriation Bill after which time the demand shall be acted upon.

“After deliberations among the Majority Caucus today Wednesday, 26th October, 2022, it was agreed to accede to the President’s appeal.”

The Majority press conference which was held on the very first day of the reopening of Parliament for the third Meeting of the Second Session of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, after a three and a half month of recess, was followed by a counter press conference from the Minority Group which accused the NPP MPs of insincerity in their call for the removal of the Finance Minister.

And that they only held the press conference because the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, had indicated to the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, in a meeting the previous day that he was going to file a motion in Parliament for the removal of Mr. Ken Ofori Atta as the Finance Minister.

They further challenged the Majority Group to demonstrate their sincerity by supporting the Minority Leader’s motion for a Vote of Censure on the Finance Minister since the motion will require a minimum of 2/3 majority of all Members of Parliament which comes up to 183 MPs.

With this latest move by the Majority Group, the motion for a vote of censure to be moved by the Minority Leader against the Finance Minister is bound to suffer an obvious defeat since the Minority Group made up of 136 MPs of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) can barely make up the full complement of the 137 seats it has due to the Court injunction on one of its members, let alone make up for the minimum 183 MPs required for the Vote of Censure.

Some political connoisseurs have marked these moves by the Majority Group in Parliament as a masterpiece of political dribbling, in that their strategic press conference in Parliament ahead of the Minority Group on the first day of Parliamentary sitting after a long recess where there was a lot of public outcry over the worsening economic situation in the country amid a fast depreciating currency and high cost of living, took the wind out of the sale of the Minority Group.

The latest rationale for the stay of execution on the demand for the removal of the Finance Minister by the Majority Group, has watered down the possible effect of a popular support for his removal, had it been initiated by the Minority on the back of the initial public anger.

Source: Clement Akoloh||

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