General Politics

Akufo-Addo disrespects Ghanaians’ opinion for keeping ‘failing’, ‘lame-duck’ Ofori-Atta – Minority

The minority caucus in parliament has said it feels betrayed by the majority caucus vis-à-vis the pending censure motion against Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who is billed to present the 2023 budget on Thursday, 24 November 2022 despite an earlier-but-twice-U-turned demand by some 98 government MPs that a new face other than Mr Ofori-Atta read the budget.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, 23 November 2022, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said: “President Akufo-Addo will go down in history as the president who mostly disrespected public appeal because, as far as we are concerned, public opinion is not supportive and favourable to the continuous stay in office of this failing, beleaguered lame-duck Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.”

“We feel let down and we feel betrayed by the majority caucus, who have shown no wits in supporting us with our impeachment process”, Mr Iddrisu added.

Despite the jolt suffered, Mr Iddrisu said: “We are not abandoning our censorship motion”, adding: “We are in it for the long haul”.

Earlier on the same day, Danquah Institute founder Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko described the upcoming budget as a crucial one that needed bipartisan support.

The president’s cousin said the 2023 budget cannot “suffer a fate similar to the 2022 budget and its revenue measures”.

Mr Otchere-Darko warned that ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund could suffer a jolt if the budget does not go through.

“It could completely derail negotiations with the Fund if not passed”.

“Critical to this”, he noted, “are its revenue generation measures”.

“We plead the NDC joins NPP in this for Ghana”.

Thursday’s 2022 budget is crucial. It can’t suffer a fate similar to the 2022 budget and its revenue measures. It could completely derail negotiations with the Fund if not passed. Critical to this are its revenue generation measures. We plead the NDC joins NPP in this for Ghana.

The majority caucus announced in a statement that it had resolved to support Mr Ofori-Atta in the passage of the 2023 budget.

The majority side came to this conclusion after an intervention by the leadership and Council of Elders of the NPP on Tuesday night.

Earlier, the 98 NPP MPs had insisted President Nana Akufo-Addo sack his cousin for messing up the economy or they would have nothing to do with him as far as government business on the floor of parliament is concerned.

However, after a crunch meeting with the party’s leadership and council of elders, the party released a statement dated 22 November 2022, jointly signed by Majority Chief Whip Annoh-Dompreh, and NPP General Secretary Justin Kodua Frimpong, saying: “It has been agreed by all to refocus and recline to the earlier position requested by President Akufo-Addo.”

The statement added that it was agreed that the 98 MPs “demand be stood down until the conclusion of the round of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which would feed into the 2023 budget”.

Before the latest U-turn, Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong had told his fellow MPs in the majority caucus: “It is not the time to play political games or feed egos”.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, 22 November 2022, Mr Agyapong told his adamant fellow majority caucus MPs that their insistence on boycotting the budget reading despite the leadership of the caucus agreeing to give the president up the passage of the budget and conclusion of the ongoing bailout talks with the IMF, “means no more than an attempt to blackmail or unduly force the hands of the president and, or undermine his authority and agenda for Ghanaians”.

“That cannot be right”, he condemned, adding: “The president is our leader and deserves the full benefit of the doubt – if any”.

“In any case”, Mr Agyapong noted: “We have all been elected as Members of Parliament to serve the best interests of the people of our individual and collective constituencies”.

“Given the crippling economic crisis facing the people of Ghana and their businesses, it is the highest level of insensitivity toward the plight of our nation and her people for any elected representative or group of elected representatives to use their public offices to attempt to hold hostage efforts to address the economic problems facing all of us”, Mr Agyapong indicated.

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