Some 98 New Patriotic Party(NPP) legislators have threatened to boycott the 2023 budget presentation and all Finance Ministry business if President Nana Akufo-Addo fails to sack Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta immediately.
This new number is an increase from the previous 80 NPP MPs who had earlier demanded the removal of the Finance Minister and the Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu-Boahen.
According to the Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem North, Andy Appiah-Kubi, who doubles as spokesperson for the group, Ofori-Atta’s position in government has become untenable, hence the fresh demand for his resignation.
The group had earlier relaxed its demand following a meeting with President Akufo-Addo.
In the meeting, the President told the Majority Caucus to give the Finance Minister some time to conclude Ghana’s ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) negotiations.
According to him, terminating the appointment of Mr Ofori-Atta would disrupt the programme, which is near completion.
President Akufo-Addo also appealed for the sector minister to be allowed to stay till the budget presentation and appropriation of the same, to which the MPs had agreed.
However, the NPP legislators are convinced it is time for him to leave.
“We have gone back to (our demand for the President to) sack him now, and therefore should the budget be presented under the stamp of the Finance Minister, we’ll not participate because, as far as we are concerned, we are never going to do business with him.
“We will not participate in deliberations too,” Mr Appiah-Kubi said in an interview with JoyNews.
He noted that they would participate in the budget presentation and appropriation if only someone else were in charge.
“We are not saying we won’t do President’s business. We are saying we won’t do President’s business through Ofori-Atta. So if anybody else comes with President’s business, we’ll participate,” he insisted.
Mr Andy Appiah-Kubi said the new resolution is the outcome of a meeting held on Tuesday, November 15, which 98 NPP MPs attended to reconsider their collective position after they agreed to relax their initial stance.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister is currently facing a vote of censure.
Mr Ofori-Atta is billed to appear before the eight-member bipartisan ad-hoc committee hearing the minority censure motion by Friday, November 18, 2022.
His lawyer, Gabby Otchere-Darko, had prayed for the committee to grant his client 48 hours to examine the documents tendered in evidence.
“We wish to request 48 hours for the minister to properly study the documents and respond accordingly,” he indicated after six hours of questioning on Tuesday, November 15.
The committee granted the request with seemingly no hesitation.
It will be recalled that on October 25, 2022, the Minority in Parliament filed a censure motion against the Finance Minister in compliance with Article 82 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
The Minority explained that the decision was based on the “alarming incompetence resulting in the collapse of the Ghanaian economy” and some ethical breaches.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu insists the record inflation rate, depreciation of the cedi, excessive borrowing, reckless spending, and the failure to control fuel prices are clear indications that the Finance Minister is not fit to continue in his role.
Although the majority had earlier declared its support, they made a u-turn, claiming the Minority’s motive for removing Ofori-Atta was ill-intended and ultimately differed from their demands.
The committee, composed of eight members, with four from each side of the House, is expected to submit its report for consideration within seven days.
NDC Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga East, Dominic Ayine, and NPP MP for Adansi-Asokwa KT Hammond are co-chairing the committee.